Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Little Girl, Jess

Fifteen years ago today my little girl came in to the world. My due date was August 19, and she was taking her sweet time joining the rest of us. I was so ready for her to be born! I kept a diary about it, and the common thread was that it was hot and I felt like I was going to explode. ;)

She entered the world at 4:04 in the afternoon, after 14 hours of labor. She weighed 7 lbs and 14 oz. She looked like a duplicate of her brother, Josh. We all felt like we'd entered the twilight zone because of that.

She had a bit of breathing trouble because of being overdue. It's weird, I'd always heard of premies having trouble breathing because of underdeveloped lungs, but never pulmonary issues due to staying in the uterus too long. I guess I just made it too comfy in there for her. :)

I kept telling my doctor that I sensed she was ready to be born, and he kept saying that the sonogram, even though it concluded that my original due date was correct, had a variance of one to two weeks. He understood I was miserable, but it was better to let "nature take its course" than to induce my labor. Of course, I was just the patient and he was the one with the medical degree. So I kept my (very bloated) silence.

Anyway, I'm going to post "13 Things I Love about My Daughter" as a tribute to her on this, her fifteenth birthday.

  1. She has the cutest laugh ever!
  2. She speaks her mind and doesn't apologize for it.
  3. She is 5' tall, but she is tough! She once ducked a punch from a neighbor boy, then knocked him on his butt with one punch. Growing up as the middle child between two brothers has its advantages.
  4. She has a flair for style. The older she gets, the more she grows in to her own "look."
  5. She's spent hour upon hour teaching herself Spanish. She's dedicated to becoming fluent in that language. I admire that.
  6. She loves music, and is always singing.
  7. She's not swayed by what's currently the popular thing to do. She's who she is, and doesn't care what other people think.
  8. She has a sweet smile, and she smiles a lot.
  9. She has a compassionate heart for animals and people.
  10. I didn't know this until the other day, but she taught herself how to edit and write html codes...without even pausing when she's typing. I was amazed! She's a quick learner, except in math, which was always my weak subject, too.
  11. She is not a quitter! She's one of the most tenacious people I know.
  12. She is beautiful....and has the most gorgeous brown eyes!
  13. Her emotions can be quite powerful at times, (like her momma) and she lives life by diving in head first. She stands up for what she feels and doesn't back down. She will always strive to have the last word, and it is my conclusion that she should pursue a career as a lawyer. ;)

I love you, baby girl! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tag-I'm It...Again! ;)

Pat tagged me on her blog, and I'm tagging you. Just for the record, if you haven't checked out her blog, "Child Lost," you're missing out. She has some amazing stuff to say and I've learned a lot from her. Her link is on my side bar for all interested parties.

Okay, okay, I don't know how I can possibly come up with 8 random things about myself that you don't already know, truly. I think you know just about everything about me, including my underwear size. If I tell you anything else, you may be able to steal my identity......WAIT! That sounds like a good idea! I truly wish someone would do just that! Boy, would they get their feelings hurt! They'd be BEGGING me to take my identity back in NO TIME FLAT. They might actually sue me for ruining their life by having my identity. ha ha. (Sorry for the blatant was uncalled for.)

Okay, seriously, let's see here:

  1. During times of great stress in my life, my right eye twitches BIG TIME.
  2. I can forgive most everyone except myself.
  3. A couple months back I got a pink "chocolate" phone as part of my cellular carrier's "new every two program". It's a love/hate relationship. I love how it looks and plays music, but I'm constantly calling someone erroneously. Plus the battery life is poor.
  4. I'd love to open my own photography studio.
  5. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but finances never permitted for long. Despite that, our kids have never had a babysitter and have never been in day care. Family has always watched our kids or we worked opposite shifts. During my 16 1/2 years so far as a mom, I was able to stay at home about 2 years total, and worked part time for an additional 2 years. Now that the kids are older, I'm glad I work outside the home.
  6. One of my greatest joys in life is to open my mailbox and find a letter or note card from a friend.
  7. I home schooled my oldest son during his kindergarten year. He has one of the sharpest memories of anyone I've ever met.
  8. If I don't write down important stuff, I will forget it. If I meet someone and I know I need to remember their name, their kids' names or whatever, I will write it down in my note pad immediately....or program it into my phone. Usually that's all it takes. I don't even have to look at the paper/cel phone entry again. As long as I write it down just that once, I will remember.

Wheh! Truly, that was really hard to get through. I challenge you to look deep within yourself and find 8 new things to write. It's hard. But I bet you can do it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hey Howdy and Hello

Hey, hope you're having a good day. After all, two more days until the weekend, right?

Life continues to be busy on my end, but hey, I keep thinking it should be different five years from now. :)

The kids got off the school without a hitch. So, that's a big sigh of relief.

Last night the coaches cut short Jo's practice due to the heat. That was also a sigh of relief. I got home at 7:30 last night! Woo-hoo! I didn't know what to do with myself! I've been getting home around 9 p.m. every night. Then I usually have the animals to feed and water and usually at least one load of laundry to do. Last night, Jess fed and watered the animals right after school, which was a blessing! I actually woke up once in the middle of the night and thought, "Oh my gosh! The animals!" and then realized she'd taken care of them. :)

Robert came home after work yesterday, rearranged the house, cooked, cleaned and was just full of energy. He even gave me a back rub, since I'd had a tough day. I thought I'd suddenly entered a parallel I would prefer to stay in!

What was a bad work day ended up being not such a bad evening. That's a great feeling. To actually come home and feel a sense of peace and tranquility at home instead of strife is amazing. Usually I look forward to going to work to get away from the stress of home. I sure could use more evenings like yesterday!

One good thing that's going on is at the first of August we rented a storage unit. We'd had so much stuff piled around...and the house is way too small in the first place. After we shut down the toy shop, we put all of that inventory in our house. No way was that working!

Then, we moved the remainder of our boxes from our "city" house (finally) to our "country" house when Robert's sister started moving in. That stuff sat around, unpacked, because we didn't have time to mess with it. Or even room to move it around. Some might say, "well, if you haven't used it in so long, throw it away." Easier said than done. Most of the stuff was framed portraits and collages and family mementos.

So, we have a lot more room now that we have the storage unit. We can now take our time and go through it and get rid of what we don't need, sell some, give away some, toss some, keep what we want. It's great to be able to move about a little....and see our walls! Boxes packed to the ceiling do not make for very nice decor.

Sigh. The perils of the working parents with two teenagers, two houses, too many pets and zero time.

Okay, duty calls. Bipsy and I will be making another trip to Tennessee next month to do safety training. Plus I'm doing a personnel newsletter for our sister company there. In conclusion, I have a lot to do and very little time.

If you don't see me as often visiting your blog or if I don't post, it's not that I don't love you or care about you. It's simply that I'm overwhelmed and doing what I can to get caught up. What goes up must come down, so this trend can't last forever! I am eager to get some time to visit with you soon! Until then, many hugs and much love!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Quick "Hi"

Just a note to say that I am alive, just busy, and haven't forgotten you, my much loved blogger peeps. I miss visiting with you here, but frankly, I miss myself, too. I'm so busy lately that I feel like I'm sure to meet myself going out when I'm coming in.

Hang in there with me, okay? This can't last forever, right? What goes up must come down sometime, I figure.

Until then, hugs and all my love!

Your befuddled blogger friend, Kris.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The "I've Got a New (Used) Vehicle but That Means I Also Have A Car Payment Again" Blues.....

It's a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Tape and cd. Air. (Thank God, since the van STILL doesn't have air- after three attempts to fix the air and some hose kept melting, so we gave up.) Sun roof. New tires. All kinds of specialty features.
And all I keep thinking is... "Crap. I have a car payment again. I didn't want a car payment."
My stomach hurts.
Maybe I'll just turn this blog into an "all ads, all the time" blog so I can become independently wealthy. Haha!
Happy Friday, anyway.
Sigh. ;)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Once Upon a Time

I started working on this post last week, and never got it finished. Usually, in these cases, I delete old posts. However, having reread it, I feel about the same as I did last week, so I'm keeping it. The only thing I can now add to my rant is that it's still friggin hot, and our Taurus has been declared dead. In many ways, I would like to rejoice about that fact. I've wanted to drive that stupid car off a cliff for years. In other ways, I'm irritated because I now have to go car shopping. That's always fun. But we shall see what happens. So many lots, so little time.

On with the old post:

This week, I reached the 400 post point in my blog. Last month, the "three years running" point.

Sometimes I feel like I've gotten away from the intended reasons for starting this blog.


I guess I'm just having a melancholy day.

There is so much good in my life.

There is a lot of stress.

I handle it, I deal with what comes my way.

There are days I am so contented that I feel I could drift away, light and airy and free.

There are other days that I feel so burdened that I feel nauseous.

Like cancer can invade the body, depression lurks around the corner...trying to take over a person's thoughts. A person may receive treatment, but there is always the possibility that it will come back. And what does a person do if the cancer creeps back in? They cope. They fight it. They put one foot in front of the other until they survive or they succumb. There are only two choices. Live or die.

The sad thing is, people who are alive aren't always living.


They are busy. They have things to do. Money to make. Bills to pay. Houses to clean. Responsibilities. People to please. Neighbors to impress. Kids to feed. Animals to take care of. Run, run, run, run. I've said it many times before. Hamsters on wheels, running to and fro, keeping busy. Sometimes that's a real good way to avoid dealing with life.

Ah, nothing like posting here when I'm melancholy, so I can pull everyone else down in to the doldrums with me.

I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

I have everything in the world to complain about.

So, what to do?

Take inventory.

Here's what's bugging me right now:

Josh and his wildly cycling moods. No end in sight on that one.

Jess and her pushing (almost 15) to be more's a necessary evil, but I'm not ready.

Robert and his less wildly cycling moods. No end in sight on that one, either. You know, Robert is a good man. I love him. I respect him a great deal. He is a hard worker. He is a good dad. He is thoughtful. He does loving things, self sacrificing things to make me happy. I know that he is thinking of me regularly, and does things to show me that. He puts me ahead of himself most of the time.

However, there are times I wonder if our union can survive two more years of our life as it is now. With Josh's tantrums and fits. Plus the stress of having two other kids, who often get shuffled to the side in order to make room for their brother. Add to that the stress of me being the only one in the house that does not have ADHD. Sometimes it's almost more than I can take. Some days I feel like I'm going crazy trying to keep things straight. Keep the family straight. Forget even keeping me straight. That's a laugh!

Finances. In some ways, we're so much better off than this time last year. In other ways, worse. Okay, maybe not worse. At times I think, "We shouldn't do this and we shouldn't do that," but if we continue to do NOTHING all of our lives, we're gonna look back and say, "Where did the time go?" If we do that, we accumulate a stash of money in the bank, but we can't get back those wasted years. They're gone. I don't want to say that I did nothing and work my life away.

My schedule is another irritant in my life at this point. Right now I am running more than I have been in a while. Both boys are in football. That means: team meetings, writing checks right and left, team photos, cookouts, fundraisers, games, practices, scrimmages, etc.! Ugh! Does anyone have a remote so we can fast forward? In some ways, the football is fun. In other ways, it's exhausting. Of course, most anything is exhausting in this heat.

Now for the good: (Added in today, Thursday August 9th.) ;)

We still have two houses. My sister in law is moved in to the city house, and it is getting fixed up more and more each week. It looks great! (Compared to how it was looking.) We will be bringing in some rent...not much but some, beginning next month.

I just got a moderate raise. That helps!

My health is better than it has been in a long time. I can still breathe easily. That is a great feeling!

My pets are healthy and happy. (And mischevious, but that's how they should be!)

My kids are healthy, and mostly happy. School is getting ready to start, hallelujah! ;) Most of their school shopping is complete. There are always a few surprises that crop up due to individual teacher requests for supplies, but nothing that should break the bank.

As stated, I have a job, at which I have been employed nine years as of tomorrow.

I have wonderful, supportive friends.

In fact, I just made a new friend during track season. Her name is Jennifer; her son T.J. is friends with Josh. They were on the track team together and are now in football together. They live less than 2 miles from us. Her son Tyler is on Jo's football team. You know what that means? Ride sharing! Woo-hoo! We've already coordinated some great ride sharing and time saving plans. And, even better, we're both with the same cel phone company, so calls to each other's phones are air time free! Even more woo-hoo! It's so nice to have a friend that is a mother of three and works full time as well. She also has a Noah's ark of pets, she also lives out in the middle of nowhere. As she put it, "It's so nice to finally meet someone who is living my life!" ;) We do have so much in common, and I am grateful for having her in my life.

Even though I don't like having a car payment, I do have the finances to go car shopping and put a downpayment down. I have the Taurus for a trade in, which I am happy to see go.

I get to scrapbook occasionally, and I might tonight. I've been really in to card making lately, and that's something I can do even if I only have 15 free minutes.

There is so much for me to appreciate about my life!

There, I feel better. I always get the urge to take inventory when life gets tough.

Thanks for letting me get back to the roots of my blog, which is: rejoicing about the good stuff and venting about the bad.

I needed that.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tag, You're It!

Pat tagged me, and I'm tagging you!
It's "8 Things You Don't Know About Me."
This is going to be hard. My life- what I want known about it- (smiles) has been shared on this blog for three years going now. I've posted over 400 times...I've covered a lot of bases. So, I will try to figure out 8 things about me that I haven't shared. Here goes nothing:
  1. My knees are hopelessly scarred from multiple bike accidents as a child.
  2. No matter what I do, I can't get my finger nails to grow. Vitamins, diet, exercise, more water intake....nada.
  3. Two of my front teeth are fake...I have a partial plate. I'm not saying which ones, either. ;) Usually no one can tell.
  4. The dentist told me that the partial plate would last five years max and then I should have permanent bridgework put in. That was 19 years ago.
  5. There is a genetic issue in my birth mother's side of the family wherein two front adult teeth never come in after the baby teeth are gone, such is the case with me. Jo-Jo has the same thing, only his are lower teeth that will not come in. They could tell this by his most recent dental X-rays.
  6. Prior to Robert, all of my boyfriends were caucasion.
  7. One of my closest friends has a terminal illness and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about it.
  8. I can't drive a stick shift. I will have to learn if I ever buy my dream car, which is a 1972 yellow slug bug. ;)

Thirteen Things I Learned on My Recent Trip to Canada

  1. Do not trust internet directions.
  2. Do not trust internet travel time estimations.
  3. Always take more than three days off to make the trip.
  4. My husband does not drive as fast as I once thought he did. He drives fast, but just not as fast as some of the drivers I have now observed.
  5. Never arrive late on a Sunday. Everything starts closing down and you will not be able to do the currency exchange thing, which is important.
  6. My debit/Mastercard works when swiped as a credit card, but not in the ATMs. Bummer.
  7. Once you get on a highway, you'd better be sure that you're traveling the direction you want to go. You will not see a sign that says "QEW" (or whatever road you happen to be on) again. Only on off'/on ramps.
  8. Other than the road signs, everything looks pretty much the same as it does here.
  9. People are pretty much the same as they are here, only maybe even a bit friendlier. Many wanted to know what our weather was like right now, where we were from, had we lived there long, had we been to Canada before, how long were we staying, etc. It made me smile.
  10. There seems to be a lot more road construction (destruction?) here than in Canada.
  11. It's good when you're in the line to get in (or out) of the country, and you're not one of the vehicles that get singled out for inspection. (Wheh!) ;)
  12. Both US citizens and Canadians flock to Wal-mart in droves.
  13. I've met the coolest Canadian ever and her name (alias) is Elliemarie. ;)