Monday, August 27, 2007

Down into the abyss.

So we took my 5 1/2 year-old son to Schlitterbahn yesterday. For those of you who don't know, it is the Mecca of waterparks. We had never been and we have promised the boy all summer we would do something special with just him. So we dropped baby sister off with friends and picked up a friend of ours and her 2 kids and headed out for a day of fun. We had a great time, our son opted out of the Master Blaster as he was a little scared, but rode most everything else with me or his Daddy. However, there was one ride, on the old side of the park, that we didn't realize until we got up to the top that it was "One Person At A Time---No Exceptions" kind of ride. Oh crap! Just to clarify, my son is a WEEEEEEEEEEEE-ner, he can't even ride the baby coaster at Sea World without crying! Now I admit, up until this point, he did fairly well with all the rides, BUT he was accompanied by a parent. So I'm stressing, he's freaking and I send my friend down first so she would be there to retrieve him. I sat him down on the slide (you are supposed to sit and wait for a small wave to push you down). As he's waiting, he is turning around, grabbing at my arms, crying and begging for me not to make him go. But shit, what could I do, we were at a point of no return!! The ride was NOT one of the big scary ones, but it WAS solo! Anyway, the wave hits, and with every bit of inner strength I had, I shoved my little boy down the slide. Then I watched as my horror-stricken, crying, pleading child wnet sliding around the curve into the unknown... by himself! It only took a few seconds, but in those few seconds, my heart broke and tears welled up in my eyes. All the people around me were looking at me like I was psycho, I don't know if it was because I shoved my kid down the slide, or because I was crying about it, either way, they could kiss my ass! Luckily, I was informed that by the time he rounded the final curve he was happy and splashed into the landing area with a big smile. Wish I could have witnessed that instead! When I reached the bottom I hugged him and told him I was sorry for pushing him down the slide. He said it was alright, that he was scared at first, but then he realized it was pretty fun. I still think his therapist is going to be hearing about this in the future... "I remember the day my mother shoved me, terrified, down that stupid slide at Schlitterbahn! I was never the same after that!" I hope my mom is right, she thinks maybe that will go a long way with him learning to trust that I would never send him down something that was that scary. And maybe he'll be a little braver in those kind of circumstances, who knows? All I know is I'M going to have to be the one talking to the therapist soon as it KILLED me to have to shove my baby down into the unknown abyss!

Excuse me!

I was at the grocery store today, buying various and asundry items to tide us over for the rest of the week. Anyway, while in the check-out lane, the guy behind me for some reason kept edging up on me. Now I've had people get closer than I prefer in line before (I'll admit I have a huge issue with personal space) and although my space felt encroached upon, I didn't feel like I did today. He was completely pressed up against my body, not necessarily in a sexual way, but I felt threatened, like I was losing control of my situation and I didn't like it a bit. I held my ground, because I'm like that. He may have been in a hurry or maybe he was just pushy, either way, he wasn't going to push me out of the way, I mean shit, I was paying for crying out loud. And about the time I was ready to enter my PIN number I finally got up my nerve and asked, "Is there any particular reason you're crawling up my ass?" He glared at me, folded his arms in front of his chest and didn't move. Then I informed him that the only man that has the privilege of getting that close to me is my husband and he that he needed to back the hell up. He backed up, maybe a half step, and kept glaring at me. The checker was visibly tense. I finished my transaction, gathered up my kiddos and headed out to the car feeling somewhat shaken and REALLY pissed off! A woman shouldn't have to feel intimidated by some moronic asshole in the check-out line! And I don't know, maybe I'm too sensitive, but seriously, unless I really know you, (and even still) I prefer an arm's length of personal space at all times. Anything closer and you better be buying me dinner and offering me a ring!

Anyway, it's a good thing I didn't have pepper spray!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Getting Excited!

I keep reading posts on my friend Ginny's blog about her wonderful excursions into the wilds of Colorado. I am getting so excited to head to Ruidoso and get a little bit of my "wild outdoor" fix! We always see loads of elk this time of year and we have one of those spotlights so we can really check them out if they're in a field or something. I think on one of the days that kidlets are with the grandfolks, we'll head over to the petroglyphs. They are truly amazing, wish my good camera was operational! We plan on taking the kids down to White Sands one afternoon as well. I have never seen one, but there are herds of Oryx that roam through White Sands. I always love that place! My hubby remembers going with his parents and grandparents as a child and having such a fun family time, then there is me, raised by nomadic hippies who took me to White Sands as a child and we waited until sunset, stripped down to the nude and streaked around the dunes, truly at one with the world! (And folks wonder why I'm a little different!) But anyway, I am just looking forward to the fresh air, the scent of pine, the mountain blue jays that start screeching at dawn because they know we have peanuts and sunflowers for them, the hummingbirds, the chipmonks, all that great stuff. Maybe we'll get lucky and see some bears this time, but I'm sure we'll see some elk, deer, and wild turkeys! But the biggest bonus of all... a couple of days kid-free with my old man, YEA!

Monday, August 13, 2007

To pee or not to pee, that is the question.

I received a forwarded email from my grandmother, this isn't surprising since, for some reason, that entire side of the family obviously does not have the capability to type, they can only forward crap! Anyway, I normally delete them since I really don't have time to bother with stupid jokes and political propaganda, but this one caught my eye. It was an email suggesting that the government require urine testing for people on public assistance. After all, most of us have to work and pay taxes, the taxes are therefore distributed however the government deems necessary. Many people have to pass urine tests in order to receive their paycheck, so why aren't people who are being helped with that person's taxes required to pee in that little cup? I fully believe that sometimes a person needs a little help to get back on their feet, and it is great our government can help them to do this. HOWEVER, it pisses me off (no pun intended) when I know alot of our hard-earned money is going to people who care nothing about getting back on their feet, they just want to kick back, get high and have the rest of us foot the bill. So I say PEE! We would certainly be spending alot less money on welfare if that were the case!

Friday, August 10, 2007

I guess it's for real now!

So it dawns on me this morning that homeschooling is a reality now. My son is 5 1/2 and technically should be enrolling in kindergarten this year. But if that were my choice, I would have enrolled him yesterday and he would be starting school in two weeks. Enrollment did not happen, shopping for school supplies is not on my to-do list and we blissfully continue our daily lives, which will include his reading lesson in a bit and his math work. I have really buckled down in the last couple of weeks. We took a break from things to celebrate his baby sister's birthday and to travel to NM to visit family, but when we got back, we jumped right back into it. I am more focused and more organized. I have him in a little science co-op (messy science experiments and fun stuff like that) and we are diligently taking one day a week to go to the library for him to pick out new readers. He seems to like this.

Now, am I confident in my decision? ABSOLUTELY! Am I scared shitless as well? You better believe it! I would be an idiot to say that the task before me isn't daunting. I have committed, for at least this next year, to school my child, to take FULL responsibility of his education. The great thing is how much we have already accomplished, he is well beyond kindergarten curriculum. In fact, I in a sense created a monster this past year, and if I enrolled him, he would be a bored, fidgety, annoying little twerp. I can already hear the calls from the school and the labels (ADD, ADHD) all because he is just too far beyond what they could offer. I'm not saying I have an overly gifted or brilliant child, but he has had the opportunity to explore anything and everything that he can think of. If he has a question, we look up the answer, if he wants to read, I will find a book to feed that need, if he wants to learn sign language, we get the book out or check out "Signing Time" from the library. No question is stupid and all questions are researched and answered. He is truly learning without limits.

I am lucky, I have a huge support system. My husband backs me 100%, my mom and my in-laws are very supportive, I have an aunt who is so supportive she actually helps me buy curriculum and I have a wonderful homeschooler group that I am involved with. It helps to have a network of veteran homeschoolers that have been in your shoes. They understand the challenges, they know about curriculum and best of all, they listen and can sympathize and encourage. Not to mention all the wonderful children that my son has access to play with!

I know I'm making the right decision for my child, and I am thrilled to be doing it. But there is that strange feeling when you know that this isn't for shits and giggles anymore, it's for real. Decisions have been made, plans are put into action and Pflugerville ISD will be minus one child this fall. Onward and upward I suppose!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why I don't get out as much as I should!

So I made arrangements with a friend of mine to meet up at the Children's Museum today. What a freakin' mistake! Now, I'm usually up for just about anything, but I had this nagging in the back of my mind all morning that this was going to be one of those outings. It started out with my baby sleeping later than normal and having to dress her in a hurry and get out the door, so I decided we would stop and grab something quick to eat and fill the car up with gas. I left at 11:30, which should have been plenty of time to accomplish these things and be to the museum by 1-ish. I pulled into Schlotzsky's and not a single spot was available, so I figured, screw it, and I went to get the gas, then headed to Panda Express instead. Well the restaurant didn't look that busy, but the parking lot was a nightmare! I was cut off by 3 different people trying to get a parking space. Nothing is more annoying than to be waiting for a spot, when you've got two hungry kids in the car, and some jerk-off who's probably just running in for take-out, snakes your spot! So, I bag that idea, figuring that every Dell employee on the planet must be in that parking lot! I headed farther down the road where I knew there was another Panda Express. We got there and they are constructing a new building in the same parking lot, work trucks were strewn everywhere, parked all willy-nilly, so I had to park all the way over by the grocery store and hoof it to the restaurant (kids in tow). At least the food was fast and fine and kids ate well, that's a plus!

I get back in the car, and am waiting at the stop light to exit the parking lot and I allowed a PT Cruiser who was waiting to the side to cut in front, only fair, right? Well this ass in an Explorer totally bullies his way in after her and flips me off in the process! Holy shit! I'm glad I don't carry a gun as I would be in jail for voluntary manslaughter for sure! And if that weren't bad enough, that little bastard made me miss the next light, he flew right through but because of his bullying and flipping off, I missed it! I hope fleas infest his armpits! I finally managed to get downtown, but the construction was INSANE! I haven't been to that part of town in awhile and I can say I won't be heading back anytime soon! After weaving in and out of orange cones and one-way streets I finally found a street spot (as I sure as hell was NOT going to pay $7 for parking!). As luck would have it (finally something went my way) I had quarters to feed the meter for the first hour. So I grabbed the kids and ran in, 15 minutes late. I HATE being late, makes me crazy when people make me wait, so it drives me nuts to make others wait. Anyway, paid the $11 to get in (only because I lied and said the baby was 11 mos or she would have been an additional $3.50!). Met up with my friend, kids played, it was alright, but seriously, not at all worth the price of admission. It was rather disappointing that I went to so much trouble to get there and it really wasn't that great. Well, about an hour into it, I remembered I needed to feed the meter, so I got change and went out to do that, turns out the stupid meter flipped out and said "FAIL". Well, what the hell do you do when that happens? I had my phone so I called the number on the meter and got the parking department of the City of Austin. The lady took info and gave me a number to remember, she asked if I had anything to write on and I'm like, hmmmm, baby on one arm, phone in the other hand, ummmm NO! But I remembered the number, so if I got a citation, I could call and have it cleared. But yeah, approx. 10 minutes standing in the sun with the kids trying to deal with the meter malfunction. I swear it was like something was just out to get me today!

Anyway... moral of this story, Children's Museum not worth the effort! In fact, there is very little in life that would have been worth that level of frustration! On the good side, my son did have fun, the baby had an OK time, and I did get to visit with a friend. Maybe next time we'll just meet at the park, at least that's free!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

And so it ends... I hope!

Last week I e-mailed the folks at NAMC's customer service department. I asked who I would need to contact to file a formal complaint against the hospital's billing department. It took awhile, in fact I thought they were blowing me off, but I received a message from someone over the weekend. I gathered ALL of my info, the pages and pages of documentation and correspondence, and called this woman. I was so ready to just totally go off, not on her mind you, but I was fully prepared to file a formal complaint with this person. Well, she must have figured I would get in touch with her as she had all of my info at her disposal and before I could even get my main complaint out, she interrupted me, said she had reviewed my case and then (almost like out of a Harry Potter book) she waved her magic wand and told me that my account had a $0 balance! What the hell?!? Not that I wasn't thrilled, but where the hell was this person 9 months ago? She stated she would send me a receipt stating my account was "Paid in Full" and also send her card, in case there is any more issue, which she assured there wouldn't be, but just in case, I am to contact her first.

So, I am thrilled that this battle may actually be over (not holding my breath, but you know). However, it was pretty unsatisfying for me as I had ALOT to vent and I didn't get the opportunity. It was like she fixed the problem and quickly swept me away under the rug, as not to be seen by anyone else. That's fine, I suppose I'll store up all that aggression and use it when I make my report to the Better Business Bureau!

Monday, August 06, 2007

13 years and still going strong!

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary! I have officially been married as long as my parents were. About the only other people I know that have been married longer are my in-laws! I always knew I'd still be with the hubby after this long. I think it was always meant to be. We were friends way before we were a couple and that seems to be the secret to success (that and you know you've found true love if you can fart in front of each other, and that was NEVER a problem between us!) Once we began dating, we actually lived together for 3 years before marrying so there were no surprises, we each knew each other SO well. I still believe the ceremony was just a technicality, I think we were just as committed before we said "I do", but hey, why not go for the tax break? And I did end up with a pretty sweet ring! :-)

As I have probably mentioned before, I had a bit of a wild life, early on, but for some reason marriage and family ended up working so much better for me. As much as I loved partying and hanging out with people and being the life of the party, it was tiring! Marriage was just so much easier and more meaningful. I didn't have to prove myself, I didn't have to be cool, I just had to be me! It is so nice to have someone to share your dreams and your life, someone who thinks your kids are as cool as you think they are, someone to laugh with and on occasion laugh at, and in my case, someone to be the optimist. No matter how shitty a situation seems, he can always find a way to make it seem less shitty. And when I think it's the end of the world, he assures me that it "ain't no thing but a chicken wing, and a chicken ain't nothin' but a bird." Now what that actually means... I'm not necessarily sure, but it does make things seem a little less overwhelming. He's my rock, my computer geek, my "Big Daddy", he's the breadwinner, the one who makes it possible for me to be at home, loving and schooling our children. And as much as he annoys the crap out of me sometimes, he is absolutely my very best friend and the person I truly want to spend the rest of my life with! I sure hope he feels the same about me! How could he not? I'm still a pretty hot bitch after all these years! :-)

But I think my father-in-law put it so well, and I'm paraphrasing here, "When you have someone you love to share your life with, the bad things are only half as bad, and the good things are twice as great!" If my hubby is reading... I love you and I'm looking forward to the next 60 years!

Yesterday was kind of hard.

A little background... my husband and children and I are planning a trip to our family's cabin in Ruidoso. We would love to take a "real" vacation (Oregon, Hawaii, Mexico...), but just don't have the funds. Which is alright, the cabin is actually a little piece of heaven and I never regret going there. The air is fresh, filled with the scent of pine, the weather is mild (especially in comparison to central TX), and it has a huge deck where we put out peanuts, birdseed, hummingbird feeders and corn out on the lawn to attract as much local wildlife possible. So although not a fancy or exciting vacation, it is usually rejeuvenating.

We are going to drop the kiddos off with my in-laws in order for hubby and I to have some much needed time alone (I haven't been alone with him for longer than a couple of hours since the birth of our daughter a year ago!). They will then deliver the children to the cabin after a couple of days so we can have the "family" portion of our vacation. Well, my mom wanted to come down for the day or two to see the kids. I don't blame her, I know she misses them, and I'm thrilled that she will do anything possible to see the kids if they are close. However, I admitted to her that I was having a bit of a selfish streak and that I really wanted to have some of the time at the cabin with just me, hubby and kids. We have not had a vacation with just us for at least 2 years. Needless to say, her feelings were hurt and I felt like an asshole. I don't want to be a jerk, I don't want to deprive her of time with her grandchildren, but yet, if we were going to Oregon or Hawaii or wherever, anywhere but NM, this would have never been an issue. But since we will only be 3 hours away, it is much harder for her to accept. I DO plan on taking the children to ABQ for Balloon Fiesta in Oct. so it won't be long until she sees them. So she has agreed not to come, but I know it has made her very unhappy and I hate that! She is the last person I want to hurt as she is the only biological parent I have that gives a shit about me and my kids. And although she can drive me crazy sometimes (as I'm sure I can drive her mad too), I still love her and don't want to make her sad. She also said something that dug me to the bone when she called me back last night. Well, she wanted to let me know that she wasn't mad, just disappointed, which I understand. But she also said that she probably took it hard because it was the first week of August many years ago that she found out her grandparents had been killed and she would never see them again. So I think there was that pang, that you never know when the day will come when you're no longer here and she wants as much time as possible with us.

I don't know, the whole damn thing was hard. I feel strongly about wanting some time with just MY little family, yet I don't want to exclude my mother either. I do my very best though to make sure that grandparents on both sides get as much time as possible with the kids. My mom did say that she never wanted me to feel obligated and she didn't want me to have to justify my reasons for wanting certain things, but that is so much easier said than done when you know that justified or not, telling her not to come and see her grandkids is going to break her heart. It sucks to be me today!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Brain block.

Seems I've been in a bit of a brain block the past couple of days. Not really much on my mind. I started the new Harry Potter book. FINALLY. All of my friends have been cursing me because they all bought it and read the first weekend it was out and they want to chat about it, but I won't let them cause I don't want to know the ending. So all of you out there that have read it... KEEP QUIET! Anyway, I found it at Costco on Wed. and figured I'd splurge (I bought that and a new pair of Lucky Jeans!) All of my jeans are baggy and my hubby said I really needed to get some pants that fit, he's tired of seeing me saggin'! We were bored last night and my hubby decided we should Simpsonize ourselves, so we did. Here I am... Simpsonized. Other than that, haven't had much of anything interesting to talk about. Maybe I'll have better ideas or at least be out of my brain block by Monday!