Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hey Murphy! I think I'm living your life...

Ever have one of the days when everything that can possibly go wrong does? Ever have one of those weeks? Well, welcome to my week! We're actually leaving for vacation on Friday (egads; that's tomorrow; I remember when I had all week ahead of me!) and I'm doing the rush to get IT all done. Found out over the weekend that my cousin and his family are coming to town next weekend and they need a place to crash for one night before their rental is available. Obviously, I offered my house as it will be empty. Just makes sense. So on top of all the packing, planning, regular activities, doctor's visits, etc. I'm having to REALLY clean my house. Not just kinda clean it but REALLY clean it. I discovered it's been quite some time since I've REALLY cleaned my house.

But on top of everything else, this guy Murphy has dumped his luck on me. Monday I was at the doctor with Jonathan who'd had a sore throat for 4 days. He got a fever Sunday night so I was concerned he may have strep. No strep, just an infection. Viral, of course. No meds. I had to call his Swim Team Coach and beg out of the City Meet individuals. I did promise, however, that no matter what he would be at the Relay event on Tuesday. Thankfully he was feeling better on Tuesday. I really didn't want to send him to swim with a fever. Tuesday it was another doctor's appointment for Jonathan. The dermatologist. Then, straight to guitar lessons. Wednesday was spent in the house doing sooooo much cleaning/organizing. Oh, and a trip to the vet for the Weimaraner who's had diarrhea for 4 days. Joe did that one for me. I've learned to accept my limits and ask for help. Today (Thursday), Millie has a dentist appointment at 2:00. She's having work done and will be out of it before, during and after the appointment thanks to Valium. I'm hoping I can get the bathrooms cleaned and sheets washed while she's recuperating. Friday, will be full of last minute packing, cleaning and stress. Last time we went on a trip, I forgot to put the dog in the car. Thankfully I wasn't too far before I realized it and came back for him. Millie does have dance at 11:00 then I'll swing by Joe's office and we'll leave from there.

I've noticed everything on my To Do List isn't marked off. Not all of it will be. That's life, I guess. Just hope I remember to put everyone (and every dog) in the car. Oh and I have to make a return...I'm giving Murphy back his life.

Friday, July 18, 2008

6 Words Sum Up The Week

Still doing laundry and it's Friday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Humph! Day

Last night my son, Jonathan, received an award for the Most Valuable Swimmer on his Swim Team. The MVS. He's not the strongest swimmer. Not even close. But he has that certain something that, at times, seems like a stroke of luck for Joe and me. He's kind, thoughtful, and a team player.
So, where is the Humph! you ask? Well, that comes in because I missed the presentation. I was, at the time, standing on the pool deck fully clothed and drenched. I was accepting the gratitude of one of the moms of the two 4 year old boys I'd just rescued from drowning. I still cannot believe it happened; that I saved these little boys without any hesitation or thought. I saw them struggle, try to use each other for leverage to get to the air, go under and not come back up. Instinctively, I jumped in, grabbed them both and hoisted them up to the pool deck where my husband and a friend ran them over to their parents. Both boys were fine. They were breathing and crying but their tummies were no doubt full of water. I am just so glad that I was there and paying attention.
After the commotion, people were saying I needed a metal; I was a hero; I'd saved the night. Humph! I only did what anyone would have done. That, my friends, is not being heroic. It's being human.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekly Menu 7/14


Last week, there were two nights we got side-tracked with the menu I'd planned. So, you'll see two dishes from last week's menu on this week's. (If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.)

Monday: Chicken Parmesan; Garlic Bread, Salad

Tuesday: Swim Team Awards Dinner (it's catered so no cooking for me!)

Wednesday: Spaghetti Pie; Salad

Thursday: Moroccan Shrimp with Cous Cous; Rolls

Friday: Ham and Grits Crustless Quiche; Crescent Rolls, Fruit

Saturday: County-Style Pork Ribs; Slaw; Corn

Sunday: Leftovers

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Humph! Day

Sparing you all the sorted details, Joe and I have had a huge disagreement with his mother. It has taken almost two weeks for him to work up an apology. I am still working on it. It has proven quite difficult because, frankly, I don't know what to apologize for. She did something so wrong and socially unacceptable and after a few failed attempts to ignore it and then asking her to stop, I finally gave in to the anger boiling within me. So, I cannot apologize for giving in. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. If you are asked to stop a conversation and change the subject and you choose not to, you should realize and accept the wrath that follows. Not change the facts around to make the other person look more guilty than you.
We have spoken to our pastor, listened to other clergy, and sought the advice from other religious people. They have all said the same thing. We need to forgive her, set boundaries and move on. (Humph...easier said than done!) I know that if I do this, she will bring it up every time I see her. It will always be a fight ready to be fought. Maybe this is where the boundaries come in. But at this point, the problem isn't just with her. It's with other members of the family as well. Instead of seeing what she did as the instigating factor, they see me as the *itch that disrespected their matriarch.
To complicate matters even more, my children were to spend a week with her this month. Joe and I were going to spend our 17th wedding anniversary child-free. I'm having a hard time sending them. What she did affects them. Her judgment has come into question. Plus, I worry about what they will overhear her say about me. Joe and I discussed this and decided to play it by ear. Maybe the kids wouldn't go. Maybe they would go under his supervision. Or, maybe they would go, as planned, by themselves...if we could come to an understanding with her.
However, last night, Joe read me the apology he had sent her. I couldn't believe the words coming out of his mouth. He brought up the visit and told her when we would be bringing them and picking them back up! ( much for being on the same page.)
Hours later, at a swim meet, Joe was talking with a friend about any upcoming trips we had planned. He mentioned the visit the kids will be taking to visit his mom. Porter, who was standing with him said, "Oh, does Mom know?" (Humph...seems my 8 year old knows me better than the man I've known for 22 years!)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Menu Monday

Monday: Picnic for my Step-father's birthday.
I'm taking Creamy Pasta Salad With Celery (recipe found on page 97 of the June '08 issue of Everyday Food) and Deli Sandwiches.

Tuesday: Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pitas (recipe found on page 178 of the July '08 issue of Cooking Light); Melon

Wednesday: Taco Meatball Ring; fresh fruit

Thursday: Cranberry Turkey Wraps; SunChips

Friday: Chicken Parmesan; Garlic Bread; Salad

Saturday: Country-Style Pork Ribs; Slaw; Baked Beans

Sunday: MR2 dinner at a neighbors

Friday, July 4, 2008

6 Words Sum Up The Week

With Friday being the 6th day of the week (by my count), I hope to post this exercise weekly. Choosing just 6 words that say it all. Feel free to join in!

Thankful for Independence
With You's Better

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Independence - It Don't Come Easy

Tomorrow is almost here. The day we celebrate our Independence. But do we really think about it? Most of us, as living Americans, were born in America. We've always been free. It's all we've known. We never fought to gain our independence. What can we do to understand what a monumental thing this freedom is? Suppose we can check out books from the library or try to recall our 8th grade American History class. But can all that really explain "freedom"?

I dare to go one step further and claim that all we really know about fighting for freedom is what we remember doing as an awkward teenager as we fought for freedom from our parents. (Those were some fights, right?) If you think long and hard about this, we started this fight way before our teen years. It began when we were toddlers. Possibly before. Our desire to do things on our own, without help or assistance. That's how we learned to walk, think, make mistakes...and no doubt there've been some doozies! So, how'd your parents do allowing you to claim your independence? Did they fight their protective feelings and let you do it yourself? Or did they hover over you and help you when you really didn't want or need their help? No matter what they did, how are you doing with your kids, if you have any? Not to say it's easy, but I've always thought the number one job of a parent was to get your kids ready for life. That means giving them their independence long before it's comfortable for you. Sure, it's hard to watch sometimes as they make the wrong choice and have to learn a hard lesson. But imagine if they don't get that chance until their on their own. Now, I'm not talking crazy stuff. I'm talking little steps. Picking an outfit, a snack, an afternoon activity. Starting here will lead to much larger monumental stuff like deciding to play or work on a project, to go to bed at 9 or 10, to go with the crowd or stand on their own. Easy? No way. Important? I think so. Evidence? My 13 year old. It's worked with him so far.

My plan is to give my kids everything they need to become valuable, happy adults. It is my hope that when they move out of my house, they will be able to make it on their own and not run to me with every small problem. I want to have an adult relationship with my adult children. To enjoy the men and woman they become. To do that I have to grant them some independence now and celebrate it. There's more on ways to celebrate your child's independence here. So today, tomorrow and always, I will relish in my kids independence. Celebrate it with gusto. Realizing every day that it don't come easy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Humph! Day

Let's make Wednesday, what's usually known as Hump Day, the new Humph! Day. A day to talk about those things that make us say a big "Humph!"

Like tonight when I was slaving over a hot stove, trying to keep the four year old out of the freezer, listening to the thirteen year old go on and on about a guitar he saw, and telling the eight year old for the thousandth time today to not run in the house when the phone rang. It was my DH who is in Monterrey this week. Poor guy. Sure, he's on business and he had to give a presentation in front of a room full of folks he didn't know but he also got to go on a great hike while all those folks played golf. Anyway, he'd called to tell me he was done with all the "work" of the trip and would be taking it easy tonight. He and some co-workers have reservations at some swanky restaurant. (Humph!...I'd better microwave the beef; it's not quite thawed out.) After dinner he will probably go out with some of them and retire to his room for some peace and quiet. (Humph!...I bet I get to watch re-runs of George Lopez with the boys tonight - again!) He goes on to say his fight doesn't leave until mid to late morning tomorrow and arrives in Charleston around 10:30 tomorrow night. (Humph!... let me drop everything, keep the thirteen year old up and run right out to get really, let me.) He says he knows it isn't easy for me to watch three kids and two dogs when he's out of town. (Humph!...we'll see how he does in August when I'm out of town for the first time in 5 years!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Yes, We're Eating

In case you're wondering what's on the menu this week, here it is...

Monday: My brother's birthday dinner. Eating at my mother's.

Tuesday: Italian Chicken Wraps and fresh fruit

Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie and crescent rolls

Thursday: Sweet & Sour Apple Honey Chicken, rice and squash

Friday: Fourth of July Picnic

Saturday: Red Chile Pork Tacos w/Caramelized Onions, Spanish Rice and Salad

Sunday: MR2 dinner at a neighbors

Some of these are repeats because the family loved them and wanted them again!


Today, is the half-way mark of 2008. How's the year treating you thus far? It's not too late to change things if you don't like where you are so far. That's what I'm working on. I'm trying to be the me I used to be. When I only had one kid, I was a fun, involved, creative mom. Now that I have three, I'm tired, easily frustrated, overwhelmed. As a friend, I used to show I care more. I'd call. I'd entertain. Now, I email occasionally. I send cards late. I miss spending time with friends. Frankly, I long to be my old self. So I'm trying to find her again. I'm hoping to release the things from my life that are weighing me down and keeping my fun self from emerging once again.

How to get there? Slowly I'm finding. It takes time to uncover the past and let it go. Once it's gone, though, happiness awaits. She's standing there holding the hand of the wonderful me I used to be.

Now, I'm gonna run out to my freezer to check on the soft drink cans I've been freezing all morning long. We're going to make these adorable lanterns out of them! We're half-way done.