Friday, December 28, 2007

Grr...the holidays

Christmas, ahhh, Christmas. Being a military family our Christmas comes in phases. First there are the endless phone calls from family far and near about what to buy. What do we do? I always go to Wal-mart's online wishlist with my kids so they can shop and create a list of all the things they so desire. When I was a kid we'd get out the JCPenney catalog and just circle everything we wanted, not so anymore. Everything today is online and it's wonderful as far as I'm concerned. It saves me from having to go down the list and dividing up what each kid wants for each side of the family. So we email their lists from Wal-mart and it's all good. Then I let each side know what the other has gotten so there are no repeats. In the past we've always gone home for Christmas, but this year we moved to Texas and we told everyone WAY in advance that we would not be home for the holidays so they could plan for either shipping or traveling. Turns out that they all wanted to come to our house instead! Now, don't get me wrong, I love my family, but OH MY GOD they all are coming to our house. We have yet to find the perfect distance from our respective in-laws. When you live too close, they come all the time in short little bursts of misery. When you live too far they come for weeks at a time. We need to be in the middle somewhere so they come very little and stay very short. Close enough so that they can come and pick up the kids and take them to THEIR house if'n that be what they desire. Ok, well I gotta go cause my husband is lettin' me know that I need to go to bed cause family is arriving tomorrow for a week and there'll be no play for us for that long. What a man.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Going against the grain

My husband just got off the phone with his sister and then has the nerve to come to me to complain about her reasons for not talking to him for the last 5 years. Ugh..I don't even wanna talk about it. What is it about all this that I don't get? I can't understand people not accepting people for who they are and just leaving them alone about it. She does not want anything to do with us or Nick's mother....that is obvious to me. They always ask me what I think and I always tell them the same thing...leave her alone. That means don't mail her things, don't leave messages on her phone or email and for god's sake don't call her and start a damn fight. I accept the fact that my brother is making HUGE mistakes in his life and with his daughter. I accept the fact that he is living with a complete psychopath. Does the fact that I no longer intervene and try to talk to him about things mean that I have given up on him or does it mean that I have resigned myself to the fact that he does not want to change? Do we continue swimming against the current after the people that we love or do we accept that we cannot reach them and just watch them float away?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I know you've all heard of those people who live in the past. You know, you've seen the movies like Napoleon Dynamite where his uncle is still living his life as a high school football star. Only problem is that now it's 20 years later and every other person they knew from high school now has other, new accomplishments to thrive on. Every time I see a show like that I'm always feeling sorry for that guy. Always thinking, " Just get on with your life."

I just realized this morning that I am that guy (even though I'm a girl). How sad.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sleepy time

I often wonder the thoughts that bounce seemingly aimlessly through my husband's head. I'm not saying that his head is an empty paddle ball court housing random bouncing balls, but sometimes I just wonder where he's been for the last 10 years/10 minutes. The other night the baby woke up and I asked him if he'd go downstairs and make her a small bottle. He sleepily said, "yea, I'll be right back." I was so relieved that I didn't have to get up outta my warm bed and do the deed. I remember him rattling things around downstairs and I remember hearing the fridge door open and close. I then heard him coming upstairs and going into and out of the baby's room. He groggily climbed back into bed, but the baby was still crying. "Where's the baby?" I asked. "Uh, in her bed," he replied. "Well, what about her bottle? I thought you'd bring her to me so I could get her back to sleep," I retorted in a way that could be interpreted as frustration. He then sat up and looked at me in disbelief and snapped, "I took it in there and just slid right over to her!!" At this point I realized that my husband had no idea what he was talking about. So, I got up and went to get the baby. When I went in there she was just sobbing away and her diaper was soaking wet. So, I laid her down to change her and my husband walked in cause the light woke him. He looked at me and said, "Do you want me to go and get her a bottle?"

A purpose in this life.

I often read the blogs on this site. I have one favorite that I read everyday. I read her posts, I read the comments that her readers write and I read her responses. It's become quite a popular blog and it is, in fact, the blog that inspired me to begin my own. Now, I am not so confident that my own blog will become as popular as hers, but I began one nonetheless. She has recently within the last year began making money with her blog and has book offers and so on and her most recent post was one that grabbed me in particular. It was a response to one of the comments. She wrote that her blog has given her a sense of purpose and a source of income after being a stay-at-home mom for so long. I have struggled with that same feeling since I began to stay home with my children. I worked with my two oldest children. They are now 7 and 9 years old. When my husband enlisted and we moved to Georgia I left my job in Indiana and never got back into the workforce. It wasn't so much a decision to stay home, it was more circumstance than anything else that resulted in my staying home status. When we got to Georgia, we only had one vehicle. With my husband's schedule (up at 5 am for PT, and home around 6pm) it didn't make sense for me to try to get a job because the entire house would have to run around his schedule. Then he deployed for the first time, which freed up the vehicle, but that left the fact that one parent was completely gone and there would be no one to alternate trips to school or the doctor. Not only that, but trips to the grocery store and regular household routines would all be rushed all the time because I would have always been going. I worried that that would create more stress for the kids, more than they were already under with their father being in Iraq. Upon Nick's return from Iraq we had the extra money to get a second vehicle. It was always an assumption that I would return to work, but for those 3 years it just hadn't been feasible or seemed as though it would have been more work than what it was worth. But, nonetheless, there we were with two vehicles and the boys were both in school so it was "time" for me to go back to work. I didn't really want to at that point, but my husband really wanted me to.

This is the part that goes kinda crazy. I had planned on getting a tubal ligation before Nick got back from Iraq. I went to my doctor, which in a military facility you never really know who/what you're gonna get. I was fortunate enough to get a doctor who was a strong advocate of SEMI-PERMANENT birth control like an IUD. I didn't want an IUD because I was finished having kids. She, however, didn't speak very good English and wanted to do what she wanted to do. Instead of scheduling me for a consult for tubal ligation like she said she was doing, she scheduled me for an IUD implant. Imagine my surprise when I showed up for my appointment and a whole new doctor walks in with an IUD kit. I explained that that was NOT what I wanted, but seeing as how there was no way for me to get a tubal ligation BEFORE my husband got home I agreed to give it a try. Now, I could have just scheduled my tubal for after he got home, but I knew for sure that there was no way after being in Iraq for a year that my DH was gonna wait for the tubal. So, on we went with the IUD. Unfortunately, my cervix is stubborn and the docs could not get it in!!! LOL!! Two different doctors came in and tried...imagine my humiliation. My legs all hiked up and different docs with their respective nurses coming in and discussing my vaginal area and looking confused and bewildered at the same time. Never have I been told "I can't get it in" so I totally bragged about that to all my friends, but at the same time I was still fertile. Since the IUD was not a success I went ahead and scheduled a tubal ligation, but, again, it would have to be after my hubby's arrival home. Even after explaining to him all that I went through, do you really think he wanted to wait??? So, we tried the family planning method and I guess we could've used condoms, but I didn't have the heart to make him strap it on so we didn't. Ok, skip to the next month and it's finally time for my tubal. My doc ordered all the pre-operative tests and everything came out fine. My pregnancy test was negative and I was healthy. I had the tubal and doc said everything went off without a hitch. Two weeks went by after the procedure and I had yet to start my period. I knew that I was supposed to have started and asked my doctor if this was a side effect. He said that all my plumbing should be normal so I had to go in for an ultrasound. Sure enough, I was pregnant. WHAT!!!!!???? My doctor kinda of laughed and mentioned that the baby had a very strong heartbeat and could very well be "president" one day. I don't know if that's a requirement for president, but my doc said so. My shock was mostly because I was pregnant WHEN HE DID the tubal and he never noticed. He then looked at us and began to explain that he is a strong believer in a person's choice and would support us either way. We were confused until we realized what he was saying. Nick and I looked at each other, and even though this baby was very much unplanned/unexpected we would not allow her to be unwanted. So there was another little Hooe on the way. I went through a mild depression and I think that Nick did too. We had finally gotten to a point in our lives where we could do "stuff" again. The kids didn't throw fits when we got a sitter anymore, they could do simple things like pouring their own cereal, they could both wipe their own butts and clean themselves in the shower, they both slept without argument in their own beds and most of all they were both in school now. I had planned on getting a job and contributing to the household financially. All of that was over and so we grieved for a bit. Grieving turned into furious planning and we righted ourselves for a new baby. When we found out that she was a girl, Nick's entire outlook changed. He always wanted a girl...I never did, because I am familiar with the life of a teenage girl, but I soon became excited as well when we started shopping for clothes. It all turned out okay and so here we are today with our three babies.

Now, even though I was pregnant, Nick continued pushing me to get a job. I thought that it would not pay for me to go to work at this point. With labor and delivery looming, who would hire me? This was also the time that we learned we'd be moving. Nick got the great opportunity to switch jobs in the Army to one that would benefit us when he gets out and so he was leaving for four months for school. After school we would have to move to Texas. Having a job would only complicate things. But still, I'm bored with being home. Often, I feel useless, without purpose or direction.

My generation of women are the daughters of the feminist movement. Our mothers worked and pushed their way into the workforce and they did it! So for my generation it became an expectation that we (women) would work outside the home and still be able to be Susie Homemaker when we got off work. Not to mention that when I was growing up I was good at everything. I excelled in sports and academics and it was evident to me as I grew older that my parents expected that I would be the doctor/lawyer/politician/astronaut or anything else that requires much work and dedication. I have great respect for the women that are those things, but I don't believe that those things, despite my success in school, were in the cards for me. I am my parents' greatest disappointment. I know this. I still cannot accept that I have failed so miserably to live up to those expectations. I want very much for my children to succeed in life, but how do I do that without setting the bar so high that each of my individual children won't feel as though they've let me down? Do I lower my expectations? Do I tell them that if they get pregnant in college or (God forbid) high school that that is okay and I will love them forever no matter what? I know that my parents love me, but every time I look at them I can see them looking at me as "the child who could have....." For me, being a stay-at-home Mom is almost embarrassing. Every time I tell someone what I do for a living I always feel obligated to explain why I am doing this. How many of you know doctors who introduce themselves, "Hi, I'm John and I'm a doctor. I chose to be a doctor so I could make lots of money and help people at the same time." Well that's what I do every single time. What's worse is that when I tell people what I do they always tell me how lucky I am to be able to do that. They don't really say it in a cheerful, encouraging way. They say it in an almost bitter way. Like they resent me for doing this. Like, "Well, it must be nice, aren't you little miss lucky." I don't understand this response. It's like they assume that because I'm home with my kids that my husband must make tons of money. Can I just remind you that because my husband works for the government, his income is a public issue. He is currently an E-4 with 4 years in, look it up, you'll see how much money he makes. Also, I haven't gotten my nails done in like 10 years. I get my hair done usually twice a year, at tax time and then I usually get a gift certificate to a salon for my birthday (October). So without further explanation, I think it's clear that I'm not living the life of luxury while the rest of the women in the world are suffering. I also have very little contact with any other adults. I live at work, this is my job and I take it seriously. I do not get vacation or weekends off. I do not get promotions or a pension or a title. Well, I guess I have a title, but it's the same title as every other woman who has ever given birth.

I am not mad at the world. I am here by choice. I chose this life. I do not wish that I had taken any other course. I think that the women who fought so hard were misunderstood by most of the world. They were not fighting to get into the workplace. They were fighting for their choice to do so.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More school???

I went to college....believe it or not, but I did and I majored in Social Work. Thing is, I kept gettin' pregnant, so I am currently one semester shy of completing my Bachelor's degree. Ok, so why haven't I just put in the work to finish that degree? Well, my husband is a soldier and with that comes many moves, many moves I say. On the one hand I would love to pursue my career so that I have evidence of my accomplishments, but on the other hand I don't think it's fair to my kids to lose one parent for a year and a half every other year and have another parent who is occupied with their own career. I think they deserve to have at least one full-time parent all the time until they are older. I don't really know what older means as far as that's concerned, but I guess I'll know when it gets here. Also, every college I have looked into requires at least 60 credit hours of courses before they will give you a degree with their name on it. With three kids that would take me at least two and a half years to complete. So, I am completely torn over getting my degree. I would love to be able to contribute financially to this household and I think that the extra money would relieve tons of stress in our home, but geez, 2 1/2 more years of school????

Thank God for DVR

Like anybody really cares, but here goes.

I love this show and hate this show. I have a love/hate relationship with this show. The people I think should win never ever win. I am always rooting for the good guy. The good guy never wins on Survivor. I know, the whole point of the show is to survive, not only the elements, but the whole social/mind game of it all, but still.....anyway. I hate the fact that the people get to vote each other off. For example, I hate that James got voted off this season. Of course the others wanted him off the show because he naturally would have won, but, dammit, it's not fair. It's the assholes that make it to the jury round and then everyone is just voting for the least of the evils. Does that mean that the winner deserves to win? I don't think so. It's kind of like the last two presidential elections. Do I really think that Bush, Kerry or Gore deserved to be president??? No. But I voted for who I thought the least of all the idiots were. Then, in the end everybody's mad cause a complete jackass won and they want to blame the ones who voted for him. Like their choice would've done any better. Sure he might not have made the same mistakes, but trust me, there would have been mistakes either way. Every season I find myself saying, "OOOHHH, I hate this show!! I'm never watching it again!!" Do you really think I could remove it from my DVR schedule - Hell no.

Ok, who loves this show as much as me....NOBODY!!! At first I thought it was just gonna be another cop show, but oh wait!!! There seems to be an underlying mystery to solve....YAYYYYY!! Gotta save Grace!! I love Earl. I love Earl. And I don't think there could've been a better actor chosen to portray Earl! He's totally imperfect, but ruggedly handsome in some twisted kind of way. I love it when he puts his foot down and gets pissed and makes something big happen. It's that whole domination thing that I'm totally attracted to. My husband looked at me the other night while we were watching it together (cause he loves it too) and said, "Susan, if you hadn't married me you would've been Grace." WHAT!!!!???? I was slightly put off, but only slightly because I secretly think he really meant to say, "Susan, I think you're incredibly sexy and I love your bad girl side." Yep, I'm sure that's what he meant.

I was hooked on this show from the first time I saw it, but as the seasons pile on it's just starting to get kinda old. The first season's designers seemed to me to have a ton more talent and creativity than subsequent seasons' designers. And it never fails that Tim says, "this is the most talented group of designers yet." I don't know, I'm giving it one last chance this season, but may have to "x" it for next season....the jury is still out.

OMG, this is the funniest show ever. I love it because I'm attached to every single character on the show. Dwight, however, is my absolute favorite. I totally want a bobble head Dwight, but with three kids, it would be kinda irresponsible for me to spend actual money on something like that, but if I had no kids I would absolutely have one. I love that Michael is so confident and clueless. I am secretly urging Dwight to never give up. I can't wait for Angela to become "satisfied." Pam is the smartest character on the show and I can completely relate to her because I know for sure that if I were in her position, I would do exactly what she does. I don't know, I just like the show. And it's not even that I'm laughing out loud, so to speak, throughout the show. It's more like an exaggerated giggle ongoing through each episode.

Ok, so who wouldn't want to travel through time. I get really frustrated at this show because of all the hiccups, but I think that's kinda the point. Love/hate for sure, but at least there's a conclusion at every show. I hate cliffhangers. I hate waiting til next week. Yea, I know I watch some of them, but those are mostly game type shows. Something like 24 I could never watch. I'd just prefer to wait for them to come out of DVD and then rent them all at once.

Awwwww.....that's all I can think when I watch it. Well, that and, "Oh my God, if that were my kid I'd be so embarrassed/proud." My oldest is dying to go on this show and I support him if he's willing to put in the work to complete the application process, but holy crap I dread the idea of him going on there and totally saying something on national television that would ruin my stellar reputation as a parent. It's like that little girl Taylor. Now, she is one beautiful little thing and I really think that her looks will take her places. I only say that because when I first started watching the show (I missed the first couple episodes) I had picked her as my favorite solely because she was "cute." After seeing a few weeks of it, though, she became much less cute than I had first decided. I loved seeing the kids come together to solve problems and it totally inspired my son to do more on his own. I cried every time one of them got to call home, but not because the kids missed their families. I cried because the families missed the kids so much. And then on the finale when the parents and the kids were running toward each other I was practically hyperventilating. Ooh Lord, help me.

Ok, that's all I have time for right now, the baby's getting ready to wake up from morning nap and I wanna go sit out front and look at the rain for a bit. There are other shows that I watch from time to time, but I'll have to post on those later. Oh and I titled this entry what I did because if it weren't for DVR I would never get to watch anything. My tv is constantly recording something for me to watch during naps and bedtimes. Hugs and Handshakes, Buh Bye!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This too shall pass

I need to get a job, plain and simple. I mean a job outside the home. I really don't know how the stay-at-home moms of the world do it. I'm not talking about the stay-at-home part, I think I've got that licked. Everyday I get up and gather all the laundry from the day before and I run down and throw those in the wash. I then hurriedly start a pot of coffee and empty the dishwasher and re-load any dishes in the sink that came after loading last nights load. Then, I run upstairs and get all the kids up and get them dressed for the day. Granted, I no longer have to dress my 9 and 7 year-olds, but I do still have to convince them that getting up and going to school will one day be in their best interest. We recently started "reward charts" so lately I've only had to say, "If you want your sticker for 'getting up on time,' then you need to get up now." So, the kids roll themselves outta bed and get themselves dressed, all the while I'm changing the baby and getting her clothes on. After they've dressed themselves, I remind them to brush their teeth.."make sure you get every single tooth and don't forget your tongue!!" and "Sam, please remember to put deodorant on, cause you don't wanna get icky at school!" I do realize that at 9 years old he's not really gonna get icky and stinky, but I really want him to get into the habit now. He's got one 11 year-old friend who seriously needs some educating in the body odor department, but I haven't said anything out of fear of hurting his feelings. I just asked Sam if he noticed the smell his friend is emitting and reminded him that that is not a manly smell. Ok, back to morning routine. We all get downstairs and I quickly find out what everyone wants for breakfast and I whip it out like a pro. Then we, no scratch that, I review the day's school lunch and everyone decides if they want lunch at school or a packed lunch. Andrew, my 7 year-old, always wants a packed lunch. During all of this the baby is usually running around downstairs tugging on a toasted waffle. Sam then gets his daily medication and rushes out the door for his 6:30 a.m. bus pick-up. Sam goes to a school across post (we live on an Army post) because the elementary school nearest us only goes to 3rd grade, and so he has to leave a whole hour earlier than Andrew. I could just let Andrew sleep for an extra hour, but Sam doesn't think that's fair so I get them all up at the same time. Ok, so then there's me, Andrew, Olivia and my hubby, who is just rolling outta bed and getting ready to go to work. Olivia is still running 'round with our dog on her heels just waiting for her to drop one tasty morsel, which has actually saved me tons of vacuuming and sweeping. At this time I get to pour one God sent cup of coffee and sit down for few minutes while Andrew finishes his breakfast. My hubby comes down and gives what's left of us a kiss good-bye and heads off for his day. At around 7:30 me, Andrew and Olivia head out the door to walk him to school. This is after, of course, reminding Andrew at least 3 times to get his shoes on and get his backpack and lunchbox and then wrestling Olivia's socks and shoes on. We live right down the street from Andrew's school so when it's warm, we walk. Lately, though, I've been driving him. Andrew getting off to school usually ends the chaos of my morning. When Olivia and I get home I usually make her a bottle and usually she falls back to sleep for a morning nap. If that doesn't happen then the course of my day gets thrown off track and I get very little done. But let's assume that she takes her nap. After laying her down, I usually swap over the laundry that I started at dawn and sit down to finish the coffee I started earlier. That gives me a chance to check email, pay bills and look for free stuff online. I also get to think of all the things that kept me awake the night before and figure out when and how to get them all done. So, I make all necessary phone calls at this time, schedule appointments, arrange my calendar, plan for dinner and do any extra QUIET (so I don't wake the baby) cleaning. Olivia will usually wake up after about 30-45 minutes so then it's Oli time wholeheartedly. A few days ago I was talking to one of the Moms at Andrew's school who has a baby about the same age (18 months) and she was saying how her daughter always wants her to sit and watch Dora with her. My jaw dropped because Olivia pays absolutely no attention to the TV whatsoever. Now, some of you may say, "Oh that's great! TV is so bad for kids," but I was totally jealous because when Olivia is awake and the boys are gone, she is on my heels the entire time. She either wants to be on my hip or on my lap. Now, she'll settle for me sitting on the floor and giving her my undivided attention, but there's no way she's gonna touch those toys without me being right with her. We recently moved into a two story house. When we moved in I thought that it would be great because the toys would stay upstairs and the downstairs would stay nice and neat. The problem with that is that Olivia also wants to be upstairs with the toys and I can't leave her up there alone, so most of my free time is spent on the floor of her bedroom. I thought I'd taken care of that by bringing just a few of her toys down, but she doesn't really care about those toys unless I am also enthusiastically playing with them. Ok, so we play for a couple hours upstairs and I sneak away occasionally to make beds and do some general cleaning in the bedrooms and bathrooms. We have an upstairs gate so I don't have to keep my eye on her the entire time, but I don't ever leave the upstairs if she is up there as well. At lunch, I try to find something simple we can both eat and Nick usually comes home for about half an hour. He used to come home and grab a quick bite and then take a short nap on the couch. I quickly put a stop to that one because I've been up longer than him and, even though he doesn't realize it, I've been on the go all morning. So I usually hand Olivia off to him and sit down for a bit. Let me explain the sitting down part a little bit. When I say "I get to sit down," it doesn't mean that I get to rest my legs because with a baby/toddler you spend a lot of time on the floor or in a chair. What I mean is that I get to rest my head and not pay attention to every little thing the baby is doing. When I sit down to rest, I stop focusing on the daily demands of motherhood and think or not think. Sometimes I just sit and stare at the TV for just a few minutes without even paying attention to what's on. Sometimes I just go outside and look at the trees or cars going by and daydream about "the simple life." Everyone's problems are their own. I used to work with families and I remember having a mother of one complaining about the demands of parenthood, but then I also had a mother of eight also making the same complaints. To each their own. Anyhow, so hubby then leaves and it's me and Oli again. Playing or running errands. I hate running errands with a little one. It's not just one thing that makes it difficult, it's lots of things. Getting in and out of the car, for example. If she's game for going on a ride, she'll easily get in her car seat, but if not, she'll arch her back and scream and grab the straps and kick off her shoes and so on. Then when we get to where we're going I gotta wrestle the shoes back on and straighten her hair and coat. So we get to said destination. God forbid if there be a cart involved. She absolutely refuses to sit in the seat with the seatbelt on. She'll wriggle around until she's backward and flips herself into the cart. Once I didn't notice that she'd done that and I literally caught her by the ankles before she went head first into the back. Little devil. So I usually strap her in and push the cart by holding on to her thighs through the leg holes. The other customers are often put off because I am now the proud parent of "the screaming kid in the store," but I just don't make eye contact. Ok, so I get all my running done and get home just in time to get Andrew from school and welcome Sammy back home. UGH, homework time. Sam is such a smart kid, but we have really struggled with multiplication and division this year. I keep telling myself, "billions and billions of kids have gotten it....he will too," but I get so frustrated sometimes when he keeps asking the exact same question over and over again. Andrew's homework is not so tough yet, but it's the getting him to actually focus and get it done that's difficult. He sometimes just sits there playing with his pencil or gets distracted by Olivia and takes off on a rampage with her around the house. "Andrew PLEASE SIT DOWN!!" This is also the time when I start preparing dinner. Ohh, how easy it would be to feed them Kid Cuisines everyday and how they would certainly enjoy that, but alas, we can't afford that luxury. Now, homework is done, Andrew wants a snack, Olivia wants a snack and Sam desperately wants to spend the rest of his day playing Xbox (to which I usually respond with an evil stare). Snacks are given and outside the boys go. Olivia is crying cause she wants to go out too, but cannot because I'm too tired to run after her as she bolts for the street over and over again. I am finishing dinner with Olivia crying and snotty at my feet when Nick gets home from work. He usually takes Olivia and goes upstairs to change into his "home clothes." We get dinner out and all sit down to eat. Olivia makes huge messes, Sam seems to swallow his dinner whole and Andrew eats so slow that his usually has to be warmed up twice. Andrew is always complaining that he doesn't like what I've made, but Sam is usually excited that he gets to go play Xbox (grr) after dinner. Dinner is done and I'm cleaning up the kitchen...the counters, the table, the floor (what's left after the dog eats her share), loading dishwasher, putting away leftovers. Nick takes the baby to play during this and it gives me the chance to fold the dry clothes from this morning and take the basket upstairs, but once Olivia sees that I've gone upstairs she will usually cry until Nick brings her up so that she can dump the basket I've just folded. So I pick up the clothes that she's strung out and put each item in its proper place. This gives me and Nick the chance to sit down in the hallway and talk. We sit here so we can watch Olivia as she explores each bedroom looking for new and exciting things and occasionally hug the parent of her choice. Then, while we're up there, I'll plop Olivia in the tub and the boys will, in turn, get their showers. After mopping the bathroom floor of all the extra water that miraculously jumped out of the shower, I will take Olivia downstairs and get her a bottle for bedtime. NO, I don't put her to bed with a bottle. I give her a bottle downstairs, wait for her to fall asleep and then take her to bed. The boys get one hour of TV time before bed, which is usually the quietest time of our day and then they are out for the night. Nick and I usually watch about an hour of TV and then we go to bed. Olivia will almost always wake up around midnight and because I am so tired I just bring her to bed with us. Anyhow, that's my day in a a nutshell. So my point to all of this is that I do this every single day. I don't ever get to "come home" and play with my kids. I don't leave my job ever. Imagine if you lived at your work. I did work with my two oldest boys and I missed out on so much because of it. But I also enjoyed my time with them even more I think. I worry that now I take this time for granted because now I'm never away from them. I don't know, I guess I'm torn. My mantra....this too shall pass.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Learning to write again

When I was in high school and college, I could write my thoughts all day long. I recently realized that since I have been a parent I've gotten out of the practice of actually organizing my thoughts and getting them to paper. I've spent the last nine years reflecting inwardly, learning not to be as externally communicative about my own feelings for the sake of portraying the image of self control in front of my kids. Now, I am surely not saying that there haven't been lots of times when I've "lost it," but maybe that's part of the reason why I "lost it." I should have found another outlet over the past decade for my own personal self expression, but I didn't. I chose instead to spend any free time I had finishing up chores around the house or catching the latest episode of my favorite shows that I used to never get to watch. AND after just re-reading what I just wrote I can totally see how this can serve as such a release. Many people rely on God to carry their burdens. They lighten their own load by speaking intimately with Him. While I believe, I have just never mastered the art of prayer. I mean, I talk to Him from time to time. Like when I step on the scale and see I've lost a little...I definitely thank Him. When I am having a sleepless night and begin to have irrational thoughts about meteors crashing down upon my house and only killing my kids, I beg Him to protect them and I occasionally remember to thank Him when I look at my family when they are happy. I suppose I'm awful, but I'm trying to accurately remember so I can be honest. Wow, I've just traveled down so many tangents. See, back to square one with the disorganized thoughts. Oh well, I 'll keep at it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

At least you're a legal Hooe

Don Imus referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy headed hos." When all the turmoil broke out over that big debacle and I learned that he was being sued for using that word, I asked myself, "why can't you sue him as well?" I'm a Hooe (yes, it's spelled that way, but pronounced like the garden tool), but I don't have a nappy head. He's giving a bad name to Hooe's everywhere by referring to them as nappy headed. I was totally put off by the whole thing. Ok, back to business.

:::standing for the class:::

Hi, my name is Susan and I'm a Hooe. ::::giggle, giggle:::: Yea, I'm laughing with you not at me. I was married in August 1999 to a man by the last name Hooe.

You: But, Susan, why on Earth didn't you just keep your maiden name?
Me: I felt a tuggin' at my ole timey gut that told me it was the right thing to do.
You: But, Susan, why didn't you just hyphenate your last name? That, at least, might have
taken a bit of the edge off.
Me: My maiden name is Stone...I'll let you play with that little hyphenation yourself and you
will surely be able to see why I didn't go with that one.
You: Have you asked your husband to consider taking your maiden name?
Me: Yes, and that's a big negative SIR~!
You: What about changing it all making it Hope instead?
Me: I just asked him that last night and he looked at me with sorrowful eyes and said, "Susan,
it's my family name. It was my grandfathers name and I am not ashamed of it."

I hung my head so low I was giving the carpet butterfly kisses. I dropped the subject after that.
Now, let me just tell you that his grandfather's first name was Ivan. Yes, Ivan Hooe. He was a giant of a man. Served in WWII with some famous general and has the pictures to prove it. I have also had the opportunity to visit the family plot, only to discover that there was an Aunt Ida in the family. Again, Ida Hooe. You can't make this stuff up. It's true, I swear. What's worse is the fact that while we were there to pay respects to his family, I was desperately trying to stifle the laughter from reading the tombstones in his family. I'm evil, I suppose, but I believe that God has an incredible sense of humor and he chose to make my poor hubby's family the proverbial butt of many overplayed jokes. And speaking of jokes I have certainly heard them all. No, as far as I have researched, there was never an Ima or a Eura in the family. Lord willing, though, I will make those discoveries before my Hooe days are done.
When my husband and I were dating, a millenium ago, I never fathomed that I would graciously accept the name of Hooe. As bad as this sounds, we were on our second date before I even knew his last name. OMG, how awful is that?! But it was innocent. When I was in college I would come home during the summers to work in the kitchen at our hospital. I worked in the basement preparing meals for patients and my husband worked in the upstairs cafeteria for hospital visitors. We were still on the same employee schedule, and crossed paths occassionally. One day my co-worker, Annie, told me that the "cute guy" (that's what we called him) upstairs wanted to know who the "girl with big boobs was." WHAT??? "That's how he asked about me? Not, 'the blonde,' or 'the only chic downstairs not eligible for AARP?' Yup, I was "the girl with big boobs" and for some Godforsaken reason I giggled and gave him my number. So anyway, fast forward to our second date. We went to a movie, which is really kind of a stupid date cause you don't really get the chance to get to know someone and he's driving me back and I suddenly realized, "Oh my Gosh! I don't even know your last name!!!" He looked at me and kind of smiled shyly. I really should have known something was up at that point and he said, "Ho." I was flabbergasted that he would call me that and as I was preparing to give him the old whatfor he stopped and said, "No, my name is Hooe!!!"

Silence.........stunned.......silence............obnoxious snort...........then complete uproarious laughter.

Me: (still laughing, you know, the laughing speech) What???
Him: My last name is Hooe. (not laughing at all, but blushing quite a bit)
Me: You're kidding right? (still laughing, but starting to worry)
Him: No. (dead serious)
Me: OH MY GOD!! You're serious!! (yes, I really yelled this)

It was that moment that I remember clearly thinking, "Well, I can just have fun with this one, cause there's no way I can ever marry him."

That date occurred the summer of '97. Two summers later, my dad, with his ever quick wit remarked, "Well, at least you're a legal Hooe." And so the story goes......