the life of a mother with youth
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Speaking of reading...
I'm a sucker for a good book. Back in grade school, I was the captain of a club called "Battle of the Books." At the beginning of the school year, the clubs from each school were given the exact same list of 20 books and given 5 months to read them. Each team consisted of no more than 8 people and only 4 could answer questions at a time. The competitions were outright, the team of 4 people would be the captain and 3 others, a mediator asked questions and, much like Jeopardy, the first team to buzz in and answer the question correctly, got the point. Team with the most points moved on to the next round until there was only one team that had not lost a round. I read all 20 of those books, memorized every detail in them and walked into competitions with my head high. I loved the competition, the reading and was very proud of myself for leading my team to victory and bringing home the Gold.
When I got to college, my interest in reading shifted. I developed a need to absorb everything that I read and became an encyclopedia reader with the same passion for memorizing the facts. For the past 5 years, I've engulfed myself in How-To books, mostly parenting and breastfeeding. I also have a interest in well written and illustrated children books, for obvious reasons.
On the last trip to the library to exchange our books, I spoke with the librarian. I described my reading to her and told her that I am getting bored reading facts and other opinions - nonfiction wasn't doing it for me anymore. I had almost lost my need to read. I ask her for suggestions explaining that I didn't want to read romance novels with thick love scenes and stupid women, I don't mind language that would insult others and I'm not interested in Harry Potter like stories. She recommended two books.
"'A' is for Alibi" by Sue Grafton.
"When Laurence Fif, an unscrupulous divore lawyer and reputed philanderer, was found murdered years ago, not many people in town mourned his passing. And no one, including the trial jurors, doubted wo had done the deed:all clues pointed to Nikki Fife, the victim's stunning young temptress of a wife.
Now, eight years later, Nikki is out on parole. Still maintaining her innocence and desperately seeking the real killer, Nikki retains ace private eye Kinsey Millhone to hunt down the truth--as acted out by some unexpected characters from Fife's past..."
It rocked. It has been a very long time since I got pulled into a book so far that I didn't want to put it down. Since my house was completely clean yesturday, I did not clean today. I mostly played with the kids and read the book on in between moments. I started it and finished it today, it was that good. I like the way this chick writes. It's light but detailed and easy flowing. I highly recommend this book for a groovy weekender or a rainy day replacement for sleep.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
New Year's Resolutions...
Each year the average person makes commitments to themselves that are usually completely far fetched and impossible to keep. I am no different. I've made some of the most outlandish New Year's resolutions. I've taken a moment to recollect my past year and I've decided that I have learned a lot and accomplished more than any other year. My family has grown and at the same time we've stopped it from expanding anymore, Isaac is in school, Nicholas is still breastfeeding (yah!) and is trying to walk, Tim still loves his job, I still love that Tim still loves his job, we bought a house, and we are truly a happy little family.
In addition to the strides that my family has accomplished, this has been a big year for me personally. I've given blood 4 times, cut my hair, had a healthy child, gained lots of weight as a result and lost a total of 79lbs thus far, completely changed the way I shop, cook and the way our family eats, started my own business and managed it all with a baby on one or the other of my breasts. It's been a busy year but definitely a fruitful one.
I'm not sure that I could, or would want to, top this year. My resolutions for 2005 is to continue my quest to get my family healthy, in every aspect, to keep everything as happy as it is now, get involved in more charity work, complete the basement project, and read more. I could promise to quit smoking - yeah right - but why set myself up for a disappointment?
What are your resolutions?
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Tis the season to be jolly...
I have to admit that Christmas has not ment that much to me in many years. After moving out of my parent's house, it was just another day to Tim and I without children. Once we had and lost Audrey, I was basically dead on Christmas. My sister helped me with this by bringing a little girl who was about the same age that Audrey would have been who happened to have the same color hair and eyes. It was devistating and I never really got over it. This is our 5th Christmas without Audrey. It's getting better.
I refuse to feed Isaac the Santa bullshit. I do not understand how parents expect their children to be honest when, at some point or another, they will learn that their parents have been lieing to them about a fat man in a red suit. I remember when I made the Santa discovery and I felt very betrayed. In our house, our children will learn the true meaning of Christmas -- Jesus's birthday. In honor of Jesus's birthday - we give and receive, giving is more important than receiving and family is more important than anything.
For Christmas, Isaac got various toys but he did get his Leap Pad. This will help me teach him to read, something that he has been asking for. What better gift to give a child? Once he learns to read, his adventures will be unlimited. Nicholas got developmental educational toys - the Peek-A-Blocks.
I had a custom leather, hand-crafted, belt made for Tim. I think he will like it. The only reason he doesn't have it yet is because he went to work after the kids opened their presents. He did, however, get personal play time with me - you know how men are.
I got a Hoover Floor Mate. With 2800 square feet of hardwood floors I need it. You guys think I'm a neat freak. You don't realize the space that I have to maintain and it takes daily scrubbing to keep it clean. *laughing*
I've started a new project for myself - scrapbooking. I've never really done it on paper before. I design webpages and it is very similar to scrapbooking in that it is layers, each page needs to pop. Wish me luck on this. My first scrapbook will be of Isaac's first school year. I have pictures of most of the events and access to the pictures that other parents have taken. I plan to do this on the computer and print out the pages but I'm not sure that I'll get the effect that I want that way. Some things are just better if done by hand. Any suggestions?
The New Year is approaching very fast. I've accomplished everything and some that I wanted to this year. I'll post about my new goals soon.
How was your Christmas?
Monday, December 20, 2004
Party In Momma's Bed? What?
The kids and I played hard all day. Nicholas took his usual naps but Isaac refused, as usual. Even though his resistance, I managed to get him to lay down for 1 hour, without sleeping, just so that I could catch my breathe. At normal bedtimes and after the usual rituals, the boys go to bed without any problems. I settle in early and feel good about the day that we've had and look forward to the couple hours of sleep that I'll be getting.
Nicholas sleeps with me, always has and it isn't something that I want to change anytime soon. He is a breast baby and we both prefer that he stay close to his breasts. Isaac sleeps in his own room, in his own bed and falls asleep watching his own television - just the way he likes it. I don't know if it was the wind or just that he got lonely but by 1:30 AM, Isaac was in bed with Nicholas and me. By 2:00 AM, the boys were playing and by 3:00 AM, I had enough. I put both of the boys into Nicholas's crib, in Nicholas's room and pulled the door to an almost closed position to keep the screaming to a minimum. Both of them hate it but I think they are learning an important lesson - Momma needs her sleep.
I'm writing this morning, 3:00 AM, while listening to Isaac cry for me and Nicholas scream for me. I'll only let it happen for 30 minutes. They are together, in a safe place, have a nightlight on and will just have to learn to sooth each other since they made my bed into a party. At 3:30 AM, I will enter the nursery and take them back to my bed, for what I hope will be, for a quiet remaining night in which I can get some sleep.
~~barely holding on to my sanity
Friday, December 17, 2004
Isaac has been going to this preschool since the end of August and I am really impressed about what he is learning but at the same time, I am concerned with what he is not learning. He is a very bright 3 year old. So far at school, he has learned some important social skills but their motto is to learn through play. Sure, kids should have fun but while learning? I don't recall school being a play place but I do recall the teachers that made me laugh on several occasions. Isaac will be out of school soon, next Tuesday, and I really want to do something with him that I think he should know by now.
With it being the Christmas Season here, they have taught him about Santa Claus. I have reservations about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I know that it is all for the kids but I don't understand how parents lie to their children from their birth and expect to raise honest children. I recall when I discovered that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy weren't real. I felt as though I could not trust my parents. I refuse to allow my children to go through the same phase. I do believe that children need something to believe in. I understand why people use the myths and I don't discourage other parents using them. I will, however, give my children something real to believe in - religion. Now that you know my stance, I walked into the classroom this evening to find the teacher telling Isaac that if he was a bad boy, Santa would not come to see him and leave him presents. Isaac got upset. I quickly went over to Isaac and told him that there was no such thing as Santa and to never believe anyone that says differently. I told him that Christmas was Jesus birthday and that we celebrated by giving each other gifts. The teacher got mad at me. She told me that Isaac needed to know about Santa Claus - it would help him behave. I told her that lying to my child would not help him behave and that if she knew no other way than to lie to a child, she needed to quit her job to allow someone with a brain to take over. She got really upset and said that Isaac would be the one to ruin it for the other children. I wanted badly to beat this woman into a bloody pulp. I, again, explained my theory on lying and that when the other children discovered it, it would not be Isaac's fault. Parents should not lie to their children - about anything.
So Isaac has a big break coming up, over 20 days, and I want to work with him, daily on a schedule, on things that kids need to know. He knows his A, B, C song but does not recognize his letters. He is interested in reading and pretends to read all of the time. I think he is ready to start the long learning process. I think that if you teach a child when they are ready to do something, the foundation is stronger. Thus, if I begin now, he will be a stronger reader later. I've made a schedule to stick to from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM - normal school hours here. Each day we will work on a new letter. For each letter, we will color, write, learn phonics and do some kind of fun activity to etch the letter into his little head. I will introduce a new letter only when he has mastered the current letter. I am confident that by the 10th day, he will learn at a much faster rate than the previous 9 days. We may not get through the entire alphabet on Christmas vacation but he will have at least started.
If this works out, I am debating on keeping him in preschool. Some of the behaviors he is learning there make me mad. He has learned to hit, bite and swear. These are not good things in this house. My children have been and will continue to be raised in an old fashioned state of mind. He will speak nicely to everyone, especially women, use his manners, act dignified in public and treat other children like he wants to be treated. Hitting is only to be used as communication when talking has failed. At the same time, he will be able to handle his self when the need arises. I have taught him not to hit first - never start a fight but to always finish one the winner. My children will not be pushed around and come home crying to Momma. Instead, they will give fair warning to the other child that wants to fight - talk it out first and if all else fails, they will whip the other child. This is already instinct for Isaac but it needs refining - a lot of it. Right now, Isaac skips the talking bit and goes right in for the physical part. As soon as he is 5, he will be enrolled in some sort of martial arts for structured how to other than good old fashioned ass kickin'.
I wonder, dear readers, how you feel about preschool - teaching your kids at home - and how you address hitting. I know that most of you do not have children but these are things to consider!
Sunday, December 12, 2004
In Sickness And In Health...
When Tim and I got married I do not think that we realized just what we were getting ourselves into. Tim said the following vows:
I, Tim , take thee, April, to be my wedded wife.
To have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love, honor and obey,
till death do us part.
According to God's holy ordinance,
and there to I pledge thee my faith.
I said these vows:
I, April, take thee, Tim, to be my wedded husband.
To have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love, honor and to cherish,
till death do us part.
According to God's holy ordinance,
and there to I pledge thee my faith.
It has came about in our household that Mom, God forbid, got sick. I was so sick that I didn't have the strength to speak. All orifices were exploding to which I had no control. Finally Tim had the opportunity to fulfill one of his vows, "in sickness and in health." This post, dear reader, is the best reproduction that I can recall.
We were Christmas shopping for the boys. I refuse to allow "Santa" in the picture because I'm not sure how people expect to raise honest children if you lie to them until they are old enough to be the wiser. Anyway, we were shopping for Peek-A-Blocks
for Nicholas and actually found a Hungry Hippo thing
that is really cute. We aren't really sure as to what we want to get Isaac. Tim wants to get him a pack of Sports balls. So we were shopping merrily along when I get a *groan* pain in my tummy. I stopped and looked at Tim, with what he says was "the widest that I've ever seen them". I didn't say a word to him and rushed toward the bathroom. Upon my arrival, the one stalled bathroom was hosting a mini pee party consisting of a mother/daughter combo in the stall and a waiting mother/daughter combo. I was turning green and choking down my, needing to burst free, bodily fluids. The waiting mother/daughter combo suggested that I go first but in an attempt to be the only sick person in the bathroom I insisted that she go first. I should not have done that. The little girl had the worst smelling bowels that I've ever encountered - even those belonging to my husband. So now I'm choking puke and gaining a new reason to just let it fly. The woman was rushing the poor little girl but I think it was because she couldn't stand the smell of her daughter's poo. Finally they get out of the stall and I fly in with trash can in hand. Removing the necessary clothing, I sat down and let it all go. I literally exploded. I'm not sure if it was the sounds or just a coincidence but no one entered the bathroom. After completing my disposals, I cleaned my mess and tied the trash bag. While on my way back to Tim, I happen to find the store manager. The look on her face was priceless.
"Excuse me, are you the manager of this fine establishment?"
"Why yes I am."
"Great, then you are the person that I need to speak with."
"What can I help you with?"
"I just got sick in the bathroom. I cleaned the mess but you may want to get one of your associates to remove and replace the trash bag."
"Okay, thank you."
I found Tim and insisted that we leave immediately. We had other errands to run and we did so. We left from the store, went to get Tim's check, deposited it, picked Isaac up from school and finally we to the landlord's house to pay the rent and approve the closing papers on the house before the signing scheduled next Friday. I only puked three times while we were going over the papers. Each time, I went into the bathroom and tried doing it as soundless as possible - if that is possible. I was not covering well, they suggested that we take a copy home and call when I felt better. So be it. Tim drove us home - yet another good excuse to puke. When we arrived, he ordered me to the bed. I did not argue. He then knew that I was certifiably down with something that was stronger than me. If you'll read the vows carefully, he said "obey" not me. I stripped naked and climbed in bed with the pinch of energy that I had been saving for such a journey. Tim came up with the kids and piled blankets on me.
Throughout my sickness, it was not the puking, exploding ass, chills, fever or missing energy that got to me. It was listening, from my bed, to my family interacting without me. Nicholas wasn't crying for me. Isaac wasn't being his usual noisy self and Tim was wrestling with both of them on the living room floor. I fell asleep. After 3 hours though, he called in the reinforcements : Grandma. When she arrived a Pow-wow was performed in my bedroom. I spoke my requests and, again, I was demanded to stay in bed. No fighting from me. The kids were jumping on the bed, making it very hard not to puke on them, so I ordered them all out and I went back to sleep. I recall Nicholas being brought in for his ritual feedings but that is about it.
How am I now you ask?
Up to 175% of my usual 200%. I just can't bring myself to do anything but relax so I'm listening to my body and doing nothing but relaxing -- and you guys thought I am a compulsive cleaner. HA!
Saturday, December 04, 2004
In the depths of the dungeon...
Until recently, our basement was home to miscellaneous creatures, stacks of boxes, piles of things that we didn't use anymore and other creepy things. The basement also serves as the laundry area for this household. We've dreamed of building something down there to double our living space and have an area to entertain. We never could agree on what it is that we wanted to do with the space. Tim's dreams involved a huge flat screen plasma television and sofa where he could watch his westerns without me screaming at him to turn it down. My dreams were an apartment for guests or the occasional i-need-a-place-for-a-little-while-can-i-stay-with-you space. In a modest attempt to visualize the space, Tim has been working on clearing out the clutter for the past month. He has removed one pile at a time and hauling it wherever it needed to go. The only things he hasn't thrown out are those that can be donated or sold at a yard sale. After Thanksgiving, when the guests had left, we went into the dungeon to see what kind of space we are working with. Our ultimate goal was to agree on something! We gathered supplies: painters tape and a couple of dark crayons. The tape was to depict where we would put walls and the crayons were to label each room and the placement of needed things like toilet, tub and electrical outlets. This was so that we could get an idea of where to start once we had agreed on something.
Current view of basement:
Future view of basement:
As you can see, we have our work cut out for us but Tim is confident that we will be completely finished with the construction by the spring. I'm thinking NEXT spring - we'll see who is right. The grooviest part about this project though is that it meets both my wishes and his wishes. He'll still have his plasma TV viewing station, I'll have an adult space to entertain and it can still be used as a rented apartment should someone need it or we get strapped for cash.
Cool features of the new space :
The pool table will be great for adults, the kids when they get older AND can be converted into an elegant dining area that seats 14+ people with the simple addition of a carved top.
The living room will double as a bedroom because the sofa will host a pull-out bed making it NO problem for overnight guests to have privacy.
When the kids get really older and want to stay home but want privacy, we can charge them rent. HA!
We're putting an bath tub in the bathroom. Yeah! There is only a stand up shower in the bathroom upstairs and it makes for an interesting bath time for the boys.
Redo existing plumbing. It's currently copper pipes and not a good idea. PVC will be replacing the copper.
Sealing the basement walls. They are the cinder blocks and we need a good moisture barrier.
Framing the walls.
Electrical wires through framed walls to compensate what we need.
Install drop ceiling panels.
Sheetrock on walls, install toilet and tub.
Install cabinets and flooring.
Decorating is going to be super groovy. Tim wants to go with a Western theme but since his little blowjob mistake, we'll be going with my Tuscany idea. I plan on hand painting murals onto every wall that resembles a garden, using antique finishes on switches, faucets and fixtures and tile flooring. We'll see but the decorating is far off. So far, we only lack the raw lumber for wall framing and the flooring. We have all of the cabinetry for the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as the sinks, bathtub and furniture. We don't have a pool table yet but we will.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
The Insensitivity of Men...
In general, historically, men are insensitive to everything. The only things that they are not sensitive about are topics directly related to themselves, their personal thoughts, feelings, loyalty to friends and other criteria concerning his penis. My husband, dear as he may be, is also guilty of the insensitivity disorder. A perfect example of how self-centered all men will be at one point of another lies below. Fair warning though, it is of sexual nature - after all, we are speaking of a man.
Usually, my husband comes home from work and helps me do my duties as his wife and the mother of our children. He doesn't mind doing the dishes, floors or laundry. He actually likes doing the bathroom and prefers to make the beds himself. Historically, mostly caused by my lack of interest, the fact that we don't have many sexual encounters has not phased him. He obediently comes home and works here too. I love this quality about him. He is not afraid to provide the bread, serve it and clean up after it. This happens to be #2 as to why I chose to breed with him, #1 being money - of course.
If you've read recent posts, you are aware of my molar extraction on Wednesday. Tim assured me that I would not have to lift a finger when he got home. Being sick, having a tooth ache and not being able to sleep for just about a week now has really worn me down. Never-the-less, Tim arrived before Isaac went to school. His promise to me quickly went out the window and I have spent the majority of the day catering to his every wish. Men!
In addition to this, and the source of my utter dissatisfaction and appalledness, tonight, only 1 day after my extraction and after weeks of not being able to care for myself properly, completely exhausted, Tim wants me to suck his dick. Okay people, I'm going to have a problem with this! Hello?!?! Is this mic on? Can you not see, hear, feel or think? Jesus Christ! His wish, this time, was not granted. Instead, he got an ear full, an ashtray thrown against his head and he went to bed without me. If it kills me, I will teach him to be sensitive to my needs - which doesn't include sucking his dick.
Until further notice, I am on strike. I will not cook, clean, do laundry, make beds, put gas in the car or do anything that doesn't directly involve myself - at least while he is home. He will not benefit from anything that I do. I can barely open my mouth wide enough to host a fork with a small amount of food on it, much less his dick. I mean how dare him!
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