Sunday, December 31, 2006

I Kicked My Own Ass

After feeling more than just down yesterday, I decided I had to DO something, ANYTHING, that might make me feel better. We went to church this morning, and I brought along all of Tot's clothes that he has outgrown. A friend of mine that had a girl first, has a little boy that was just as large as Tot. I gave her all of Tot's BabyGap and Hannah Anderssen clothes. I wanted to give them to someone who I knew would appreciate them. I handed them to her today. was hard packing some of those things up, but it was time.

After church, I decided that a trip to the gym was in order. I credit my regular attendance at the gym, combined with some kick-ass anti-depressants and therapy, for helping me climb out of the depression-like hole that I was in. I didn't feel like going at all, but I knew I would feel much better after I had gone. Bring on the endorphins! Everyone and their brother was there; new year resolutions and all. Simply finding an elyptical machine to use was not an easy task!

After the gym, I felt much better. And my brother and his family are going to come over to have dinner with us tonight, and then watch the Bears game. My nieces and I will be doing something else, I assure you.

I have also been trying to focus on a project, preferably a creative one, to start. We'll see how that goes. I like to be busy, and I need to be busy this time of the year especially. Hopefully, I'll begin to feel as good as I had been for months. Like 7-8 months. Let the games begin!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Post-Holiday Blahs

For as long as I can remember, after all the excitement and the preparation for Christmas comes the letdown. All the frantic searches for the perfect gift, decorating the house and then wrapping, wrapping and more wrapping, have come to an end. It seems like the world is at a standstill. Many people take off for the holidays, school is on break as well as all of the other extra-curricular activities that I enjoy so much. I am, and have always been, a lover of routine. I love having things on my calendar to do, where there are people that I am going to see. I am a people person. I need to be around people. Now I am also reserved, and tend to take some time to warm up to new situations, but deep down I need to be around people. This time of the year lends itself to that for some, but for me, it doesn't.

I have a very small family. My mom and I would go out together during this time of the year. She worked four days a week, two which were on the weekend, so we looked forward to getting together. We both would talk about how we couldn't wait for all the Christmas stuff to go away, and for the world to resume a little normalcy. We couldn't wait for the warm weather to come back again. Well, now that she is gone, I feel very alone at this time of the year. And I have time, so much time, to think.

For most of the year, I keep myself pretty busy. This past year has been the best one for me. Recently, I met a woman who is not only infertile like me as well as a teacher now staying at home, but also lost her mom young. Believe me when I say it is such a blessing that I met her. I have also met a lot of other great people. It's been wonderful! But during these two weeks of the holidays, everyone is either with family or their husbands have taken off of work. Hubby had to work part of each week; regular hours to boot. And the Tot takes a long afternoon nap, which is great, but leaves S. and me for a lot of hours with nothing all that interesting to do. At this time of the year, it is so cold and dreary here, and the afternoons are long. I know I have always dealt with that whole seasonal affective disorder thing. I need sun! Anyway, I have been thinking so much about my mom lately, which has really made me feel lonely. I wonder what the point to everything is. I mean I do the same old, same old things. What is the purpose to my life? What am I doing that is important? I even said to Hubby that I am a boring old housewife! No one wants to look at me, I'm in my 30's now. What interesting thing do I have to add to a conversation??? Diaper rash, how to get stains out of clothes, or a particularly riveting discussion of sibling rivalry? I bet your chomping at the bit to talk to me now! I actually had a dream in which I was teaching school again. I felt so alive, and like I had a purpose. It felt so real. Then I had to remind myself that I quit that job 4 years ago. For good reasons too.

I just need a reason to get out of bed again. Something to get my juices flowing. When everything starts up again, I know I will feel better. It's just I remember last year and how awful the winter was. Winter is hard. The upshot is that we don't have scorpions and black widow spiders and such because they can't survive the cold. (I'm NOT a bug person!) The downside is, I barely can either. I made it through the holidays this year, AND enjoyed myself. I really thought everything afterwards would be good too. Now I have another week with a son that has tons of energy, with tons of people at my gym who are going to attempt to exercise as their New Year's resolution, and a lot of time and not much to do with it. Pray that I'll get through it. Depression is a bitch.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Very Merry Christmas!

This year was the first year that I did not experience the usual anxiety that has come with the holidays since my mom has been gone. This was the first year that I actually felt joy around the holidays. Imagine that. I also did not pressure myself to do things that I felt that I should do because it was a tradition. If I had time and wanted to do it, I did. If I didn't, I let it go. Turns out that reducing the things that need to be done around the holidays also reduces stress.

This is also the first year that S. understood the whole Santa thing. I do admit that I even 'used' the jolly old elf to my advantage whenever misbehavior looked like it was about to occur. Of course, S. being a stubborn little individual, told me to tell Santa that he didn't want him to come. Upon further discussion, S. changed his mind. S. left out cookies and milk for Santa, they were good!, and we even tracked Santa's progress via the internet. S. was impressed with that I tell you! Here are a few of the goodies my little boys received:

The boys received a gasoline pump to fill up their car, but Tot prefers sitting on it to the actual use that it was intended for.

S. LOVES his Leap Frog Word Whammer! Imagine my surprise when he told me D-O-G spells dog. I was excited until I realized that when he learns to spell, we can no longer spell out the words we don't want him to know!

The Tot loved his brother's Anywhere Chair from PotteryBarnKids so much that Santa got him his own. As predicted, he has not gone near either chair since.

S. has so much energy, and I just cannot go through another winter like last year. Anyone remember the 'poop mural' or the Listerine disaster? Anyone??? At any rate, S. received this bouncing castle thing to dispense that energy in. So far he really likes it, just not as much as this:
Ah....the train table from Grandpa and Grandma D. This thing is 'the bomb' according to my boys, particularly the older one. I must admit, it IS pretty cool.
I also got each of the boys two books. They always get one or two for Christmas which I inscribe with permanent marker. Once a teacher, always a teacher! The boys really do like books, too.
S. and I have been playing with his Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs, and LightBright. I admit I was the one who wanted the Lightbright. Hey, I have to have something to do when the kids go to sleep!
I hope everyone had a good holiday. And teachermom, when the teacherfamily comes to visit, I think they'll have enough toys to play with!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

I want to wish each of you a Merry Christmas, and hope that someone in your family likes the gifts you got for them:) Oh, how I hope S. and Tot will think Santa made them the best damn gifts ever! I hope they know how much time and energy 'Santa' put into buying, making, gifts that would make them happy. I also hope they have learned that Christmas isn't just about presents. And I hope that my mom is looking down on us and is happy with the way we've turned out. God bless.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Shouldn't Have Asked

S. was not himself AT ALL this morning. I even got up and took his temperature. Hubby was taking S. to preschool this morning, and I could sleep in. Only I didn't because Hubby woke me up to ask me where the thermometer was. I sprung out of bed to see what was the matter...sorry, cheesy I know...and took S.'s temp. He didn't have one at all. Actually, his temp. was a bit on the low side. I stayed up for an hour trying to figure out what was wrong with him, and whether or not I should send him to school. I decided since he had no cough, no runny nose, no vomit, and no temperature that he was going. *** Also, I stayed up late last night wrapping gift's for his teacher's as well as the grab-bag gift, so damn-it, he was going! Yah, I stayed up late because I thought I was going to be able to sleep in. Silly, silly me.

I was still worried about the little guy while he was gone. He had perked up before he left, but still, I wondered if we had made the right decision. Plus, we were taking the kids to the museum for the annual Christmas Around the World event after we picked him up from school, and I didn't know whether or not we should try to do it. I shouldn't have been concerned.

Hubby drove, and as teacher#1 helped S. into the car, I asked her how he was at school today. I, of course, was thinking about his health. She sighed, never a good sign, and told me he was all right. They had to have a conversation with him about not hitting or pushing as well as listening. (The listening part I wasn't totally surprised about.) She then said they would continue to work on it. I told her that we would work on it at home too. I was not prepared to hear about my son being physical with another child. I have always worried about him being bullied or him being a doormat. Secretly, I was a little pleased. S. is on the smaller side, and I am kind-of glad that he stands up for himself. Obviously I don't want him hitting other kids, though. So we had the 'We don't hit, we use words. I want to hear good things from your teacher next time-got it' discussion, and went to the museum. Which goes to show that when you are dealing with children, you never really know how your day is going to turn out. Tomorrow is his school program. My dad, stepmother, and hubby all took the day off. Oh, how I pray he actually sings and doesn't play with the outlets this time. Only time will tell. Pray for me.
***S.'s teachers seemed surprised when we handed them their gifts. Moms with preschoolers, did you buy your kid's teachers a gift??? I don't want to look like one of those over-the-top parents. (When I taught 4th grade, I always got gifts.) Oh, with the gift I included a card whereupon I wrote how much I appreciated what they are doing for my son and how much he enjoys school. Tell me, honestly, do I look like a suck up???

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

As the Card Says....

The in-laws are staying home for Christmas

May you all have as joyous a Christmas as we are!***

***Actually my in-laws are in Florida at their soon to be permanent residence. See formerteacher doing the happy dance!!! Hubby and I are excited since we won't have to even think about running into them around town. Yes, we live a mere 20 minutes from them. As Deborah from Everyone Loves Raymond would call a holiday without in-laws ,"It'll be a MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

Hubby recently told me that a few years back during the annual holiday argument, his father said to him after telling him what I did that upset them, "Hubby's name, we don't want it to get to the point where you have to choose between her or us." The emphasis being that if he didn't get me to see the wrongness of my ways, then hubby would have to get rid of me. Nice, eh? I will be honest here when I say that even if I cannot stand my DILs, I will never expect my boys to leave their wives because of me. I want them to be happy, and being divorced and alone is not what I wish for them. Particularly if they love and are happy with their wives. It's not normal for a parent to wish unhappiness on their child simply to make the parent happy.

The ironic thing here is that hubby did end up making a choice, and it didn't end up in their favor. I guess they should have been careful what they wished for, as that's what they got in the end.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Letter To My Daughter

To My Daughter(Ava Grace):

All of my life I dreamed of meeting you, of what I would say to you, advice I would give or just the cutest little girl clothes I would dress you in. When I was in the eighth grade, my Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Burnett, had us start writing a journal. I wrote about what life was like for a girl my age so that I would be able to better understand you when you reached the dreaded teens. I wanted to be able to remember that 14 was not an easy age, and I wanted to treat you the way I myself wanted to be treated. I also wanted you to think I was 'cool' ; I no longer have that as a goal. I not only kept that journal, but I have continued to write.

The older I got, the more I thought about you. I was not ready to have a child of my own at that time, but when the time was right, I pictured how cool it would be to have a daughter. I saw mothers with their little girls all dressed up in pretty dresses with bows in their hair, and I knew that was how we would be. There would be a little 'me'. I would never be alone in this world. The funny thing was I never thought you would be my first born. Never. I had an older brother, and I LOVED having an older brother, so I wanted that for you too. I wanted to have a boy first and you second. One of each, a rich man's family as my mom told me. A rich man's family because you needn't try any more for another gender as you already had both. She had heard this as a child.

For years your name was going to be Katherine Grace or Kathryn Grace. I thought Katherine was such a strong name, and I would call you Kate for short. Grace because that was my grandmother's name, and she was the type of woman most women strive to be. It changed when your father and I tried for years to have a child. After I miscarried our first child, I wanted to give you my grandmother's name. I wanted to somehow infuse her strong qualities into you. She was a special woman, and you were so wanted. In my heart, I felt that you were special too, and you needed a name like hers to identify you. Maybe then, you could come into our home. Well, your brother was born and so we used our choice for a boys' name. Before your grandmother died, I had changed your name to Grace Deborah. I told my mother about my desire to have her name in my daughter's name, and she smiled. Nearly two years passed before I was pregnant again. One day I read an online diary, and one woman's daughter's name was Ava. It hit me right then! Ava! Ava Grace! Of course! Ava Gardner was gorgeous, and somehow I just felt it was 'right'. Your father said AGAIN to me,'We made a decision already.'

We found out we were having another son, and that we lost his twin. Maybe that was you. I don't know. I never thought that I wasn't going to have a daughter. It didn't enter my mind. All of my dreams for you. All of my dreams for us. The clothes you would wear, the things we would talk about. When I lost my own mother, I wanted you even more so I could have that mother-daughter bond again.

But as so many other dreams we have in life go, sometimes you have to say good-bye. Good-byes are sad, and I AM sad that we will never meet, but don't worry about me. I feel God has a plan for us all, and there is a reason that He gave me boys. I have come to terms with the fact that I am a mom of boys, and not a mom of both. I just cannot try to have another child. I have to be an adult here. In my heart, I would love to have given another try to see if I would indeed get to finally meet you. But I know that as much as getting pregnant is hard for me, the post-partum period is even harder. Right now I feel great, and it is easy to make a life-changing decision when you feel good, but I cannot take a gamble with my and the boys' lives. Adoption is not an easy process like the celebrities make it out to be either. Financially it would be too much as well. Although we will not openly seek to adopt, if somehow years down the road, an opportunity comes up and we truly feel that God is telling us something, maybe we would be open to it. I can't say never.

It' s time now to pack away the dresses and the dreams that I had for you. Please know that I love you, and would have loved to have had the pleasure of raising you. I am sure you would have made me as proud as your brothers make me. Good-bye Ava. Mommy loves you babygirl.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Apparently, I Am a Slow Learner

While I was trying to Christmas shop this morning, I was getting a little pissed off by the lack of common courtesy. You know, people walking slow, people cutting in front of me while walking thus almost causing me to run right into their backs, people talking loudly on their cell phones... It was almost too much. Then I thought to myself,'Why is this all bothering me so much? What did I expect, it is the holiday rush and all.' Then I remembered, it is day 28 of my cycle meaning good ol' AF is due to make her appearance any time now. My conclusion is that PMS and Christmas shopping don't mix. Course, I don't know what does go with PMS, but it certainly isn't Christmas shopping!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Silly Rabbit, Wires AREN'T For Bunnies!!!

For the second time this holiday season, the oh-so-lovely rabbits that live in our bushes have chewed through our holiday lights. Of course, we didn't figure this out until it was dark outside, and even then, it's raining so we can't fix them. After several summers whereupon these rabbits have killed my flowers despite every way known to man that I tried to use to discourage it, we are damn tired of trying to outfox these rabbits. They are really ticking us off! Where are the damn coyotes when you need them???

Monday, December 04, 2006

Back From a Cold-Like Hell

Thursday morning I woke up, and immediately knew that I had somehow scored the cold that Tot had come down with the day before. Oh, and Thursday was packed with things I had to do, of course! Dropped S. off at preschool, took Tot to the pediatrician, got gas because of the impending snowstorm, picked S. up again and drove to hubby's work to get my flu shot because MY doctor ran out of the vaccine. It took almost an hour to drive to hubby's work. Lots of fun I tell you, especially while sporting a new cold!!!

Friday I felt like I was at death's door, and Tot was all full of snot and having a hard time breathing. Add to that the snowstorm we were having, and let's just say I was sure my babysitter wasn't going to be able to come. Oh, I didn't tell you I found a babysitter. I did, and oh, she is wonderful. I'll expand on that another time. Well, I want to personally thank Mayor Daley, because she was coming from the city, and she made it to my house an hour early. She thought it would take her longer to get to my house, so she left early. Anyway, when she got here, I went back to bed for TWO HOURS!!! I'm giving her a raise now; she deserves it.

I hate being sick. I really do. I don't understand why I've been sick twice already especially when you figure in that I average maybe one illness a year. Prior to having S., I went three years without a cold. I wash my hands so much that I have lotion by every sink my hands get so dry. I take basic hygiene steps to protect myself. I just don't get it. Before I had Tot, if S. got sick, I rarely got what he had. I chalked it up to being sick often during my first two years of teaching. But now it seems when Tot gets sick I get sick. And I hate it; I really hate it! Oh, and now I have so much laundry to do that I don't know where to begin. Oh, I have to wash S.'s clothes, because tomorrow is green day at preschool. Does he even own something green??? Okay, now that I have a babysitter, I think I need to find someone who will wash my clothes, and wash the dogs, put up the Christmas tree, do the Christmas shopping that I am now behind on and send the Christmas cards. And I have to make something for Wednesday's Bible study Christmas celebration, which I would totally ditch if it wouldn't make me feel so guilty. I'm sure there's more, so I better stop stalling and just start doing it.