Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Counting down and updates...

We aqre a little excited here in casa de husband will be home in the next week.  This long, long year is coming to an end, and we are all ready to move on as a family.  But there are a lot of other things happening here as well!

PB had her teeth pulled last Tuesday, and she came through like a champ.  She has to have a palate expander put in soon, and had to have some of her upper baby teeth removed so that the adult teeth could start coming in.  I feel a bit bad, as chewing is a little difficult, but she's doing great.  They sedated her to make her more comfortable, and the thought of her under anesthesia still makes me want to cry.

I bought this cool plate from Bethany and she added this cool cupcake into the mix.  The kids love that cupcake.  Monster uses it to pretend to hypnotize us...and the colors are Bug's favorites!  Thanks Bethany!

Monster is moving up to a Yellow Belt this weekend...Yay Monster.

PB's birthday party was last weekend. A post will be coming about that soon.

Please, be patient with the light posting...I'm trying to fit everything in while getting to see my hubby :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

And everything falls apart now...

So...hey there internets.  How's the parenting gig working out for you?  Cause I'm sort of sucking at it lately.  Well, really, only one thing, maybe two, but dang it, I'm tired.

I've managed to hold our household together for the last 11 months.  I've fixed (or arranged for someone to fix) broken appliances, lights, etc.  I've stayed on top of my children's schedule, making sure they did their work, got to bed on time, ate mostly good food, had all the permission slips and papers for school, doctor and dental appts made, and so on.  And I've done well so far.  Until school started.

We are in the 4th week of school.  So far, I've forgotten to give one child lunch money one day, manged to get only one of them in bed on time regularly, fed them more non homemade food than in any given 4 month period before, had a child left at horse back lessons, lost both of my military ID's on the same day (they were found the same day) and been late to a million and one things.  But today, today topped it all.

I forgot school picture day for Monster.  Luckily, they still snapped a shot of him, and all is not lost.  Cause retakes?  They are scheduled while we are in Disney. 

And tomorrow, my PB gets five baby teeth removed while under anesthesia.  My SIL is going with us to sit in the room with her, because I'm afraid I'll freak out while she's getting sedated.  Seriously, my stomach has been in knots and I've been on the verge of tears for the last 3 weeks just thinking about it.  I prayed they would fall out, or at least loosen, on their own.  One did fall out (it was originally 6) and several have loosened, but it isn't enough.  I'm stressed and trying to hide it.

But you know what?  I was the only parent in Bug's Chemistry class at open house tonight.  Guess I'm not failing as bad as I thought. 

But thank goodness my husband is home in less than 3 weeks.  The brain is short circuiting from the overload, and I need the help.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering September 11th, 2001

I very rarely really try to think about that day.  I try to avoid the articles and such.  But this year, something was different. I don't know if it's because my husbands been overseas serving in the war that began in some way after that day, or if it's just been long enough.  After reading a few of those articles, I felt compelled to remember, and record my thoughts and memories of that day.

My husband had an appt in another town that morning.  We were living with my MIL and I was driving Bug to school in our old town 20 minutes way every day.  PB was in home daycare and Monster wasn't even thought of existing at that time.  That's hard for me to grasp when I think about that day...we didn't even know he would exist.  He's never lived in the world the way it was before 9/11/2001.  That makes me pause, and really think.

I was at work.  We didn't have television access, and our internet access was extremely limited.  I worked in a call center as a telephone rep.  Someone's spouse called, and we all began to hear.  The conversations on the calls we were taking were surreal.  DDS called me to tell me he was on his way back and he was watching planes leave the Air Force Base one right after the other...we have large cargo planes, they don't do that.  He knew then something was very wrong.  We agreed he would stop and get Bug and PB and take them home, and stay in contact with me.  All the information w received that day was second hand.  They finally closed the office around lunch time and sent us all home.

I was terrified that our Air Force Base would be a target.  I was terrified that my husband would be asked to leave home and fight.  I worried about what sort of world we were all going to be living in for the rest of our lives. 

I didn't watch the planes hit, the towers burn or their collapse while it was happening, since I was at work.  And I'm thankful for that fact.  By the time I was able to see the footage, I had already heard and digested what happened.  While the images were still shocking, I knew what was going to happen.  And after seeing it once, I didn't need to witness it again.  We tried to keep the girls away from the news, letting them watch cartoons and videos all afternoon and evening. 

I remember walking around the neighborhood that afternoon with the girls.  It was so peaceful.  The sky was blue and cloudy, and it was eerie to look up and not see a plane flying overhead.  We see so many planes here that you stop noticing them after a while...but that day you noticed their absence.  It seemed as if even the birds had been grounded.  The traffic was so light, it was almost as if we were truly some of the only people left. 

I remember the patriotism of the next few weeks.  I remember the feeling of pride.  But mostly, I remember the fear.  My husband had been put on alert, preparing him to go to war.  But I wasn't allowed to tell anyone, or say anything.  Every time my phone rang, I jumped.  I had long conversations with myself, trying to prepare for that call.  When people asked if he was getting called up, I had to lie and say we hadn't heard anything.  This went on for months...even after we did start the attack.  We were on call. 

But eventually, I realized that I had to stop thinking about it constantly.  I had to live life in my new normal.

Several months later we moved onto that Air Force Base.  My children began going to school and daycare on that base.  And every night I prayed.  We moved off that base, but my children still go to school there.  I still pray. 

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

counting down

I feel as if I am counting down for a million things right now.  My hubby is coming home soon, my daughter is turning 11, we are going to Disney, we are celebrating making it through 12 years of marriage (really? 12? wow...), and Bug's 16th birthday.  That's all in the next 6 weeks.  And that doesn't include the counting down I'm doing just to get through each day.

A sample of our schedules this week...
Meet with Monster's teacher after school at 4:00
Pick up Monster from after school care at 4:50
Pick up PB from field hockey at 5:00
Hope MIL remembered to pick up Bug from Marching Band at 5:10, while driving PB to Horseback riding lessons, which start a 5:30.  Drop her off, reminding her that MIL is picking her up.
Drive Monster to Martial Arts at 6:05
Martial Arts over at 6:35, head to MIL's for dinner.  Realize she forgot she had to pick up PB, so run there to pick her up.
Finally sit down to eat dinner at 7:30.  Take everyone home, get them ready for bed, good night.

This is also the week that we start leaving the house very early.  PB has to be at school by 7:00 for band and choir, and Bug by 7:15.  I spend almost 13 hours away from my house every day this week and next, and all I want is to shut the front door and cry uncle.

So I'm here, and as always, my head is spinning.  Several Presidential Speeches, Japan, military name it and it's there.  But it has to wait, as I have to go to bed now.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The President Speaks

I am not a very political person. The state of politics in our country these days makes me sad and anxious, and there are too many other things in my life to deal with day to day to worry any more.

But I feel compelled to write about the President speaking to our school children next week. This came up on my radar earlier this week, and after reading the "lesson plan" that the DOE suggested, I was against it. Questions like these:
What specific job is he asking me to do?
Is he asking anything of anyone else?
make me wonder what his intent is going to be. But I am not content with just one side of the story, so I did some research. And I still had concerns.

The next day, the questions/lesson plans had been updated, and a transcript was offered so parents could read and speak to their children about the speech. People are still warring, calling for schools to ban the video, blaming teachers for promoting "Obama's socialists ideals." Hello over-dramatics.

And this whole incident demonstrates the low levels that we as a country have sunk. When I was in school, if the President of the United States was willing to speak to all students, we would have been in awe. My mom and I would have spoken about it, and we would have moved on. If there was name calling and such going on, I was blissfully unaware of it. But now, my children know. They know that some people think he is trying to turn us into a socialist state, and they know that some people hate him because he's black. They know that Sarah Palin was attacked about clothing choices, and that she's cute. They understand that people oppose the war, and that many Americans thought Obama would save us all.

But a lot of that information comes in the form of sensationalism. Name calling, finger pointing, mudslinging. These are the things my children see in politics. It's hard to teach your children to live the Golden Rule (do unto others...) when the people they see and hear on television aren't following that rule, especially the people we've elected to lead our country, state and city.

I struggle to truly understand what anyone is proposing these days.  We spend so much time trying to filter what all the talking heads spew out, trying to unspin the truth from the web.  You know how to convince me your plan works?  Use the KISS method.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  Bullet points, summary paragraphs, plain words, etc.  Provide me the basics.  Provide me places to go to ask questions, find answers, etc.  Get rid of the yelling, sensationalism, etc, and just let the plans speak for themselves.

How about we all take a deep breath. Let your child watch the President's speech. Then sit down with them that night, and discuss it with them. Share your views and thoughts about the comments. Tell them why you agree or disagree. Ask them for their opinions. They might suprise you with how insightful they are. After all, they are the future of our country, and I'm hoping that they find a way to stop the system of politics we have now, and learn to work together to make us the great Country we used to be, instead of the laughing stock we've become in the last 20 years, under both Democrat and Republican leaders.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mommy blogger, or just a blogger?

The controversy of Dooce and Maytag, day 9.

Okay, so this was actually (finally) becoming old news, and then Forbes posted this brief story.  And it was temporarily re-ignited.  And then (I think) it's died down again. But I'm behind since this week has kicked my butt, and I have to comment on the Forbes post.

Parmy Olson wrote an article about Dooce tweeting her dissatisfaction with Maytags service. (For those that live under a rock, Dooce is big. She's become a pop-culture figure (at least for most social media people), and people listen to her. Not all of them have the ability to think for themselves, which is the case any time you mix a million people together.)   Dooce was angry and tweeted about the lack of customer service, and included phrases like "Do not buy Maytag."  This tweet bothered some people.  They sympathized with her plight, but were concerned about her tone.  And of course, people began to retweet, and soon, it was big.  And Maytag called her and her washer got fixed and another company wanted to give her a new washer and dryer and all's well, right?  Well, not quite.

When you throw out a tweet (or any public statement) in anger, and you have a million followers, you have to think of the repercussions.  You may credit most of your readers with having a brain that allows them to think for themselves, but not all of them do.  And the potential to drastically impact a company is real.  And there was no background information given during this tweeting frenzy, no explanation of how much she had gone through.  A few days later, she posted about the whole episode, and I agreed she had every right to be angry.  (Although I really wanted to comment with "have you ever heard of a laundry mat" several times while reading the post.) 

But this isn't just about this one tweet incident. This is about the responsibility we all have.  Yes, that organization needed to give her better customer service. And she achieved getting that service, and scored a new washer and dryer for a shelter in the process.  Our responsibility is to realize that there is a greater story here.  That 3 months of non-working washer sucks, but why hasn't it been working?  What has the company done to fix it?  Did a mouse disconnect a wire?  We didn't know the whole story.  It turns out in this instance, she had been trying to get something fixed that wasn't her fault, but what if it was?

During Blogher conference, apparently there was a woman who tweeted about Nikon not allowing her to bring her baby into their party, held at a bar.  She tagged it with something like "Nikon hates babies" and immediately people began retweeting. But many of those people didn't know the whole context.  She made an assumption about what would and wouldn't be allowed, and she was wrong, and then she tweeted about it in jest.  That doesn't mean Nikon hates babies.  But that one tweet could cause the business harm. 

We've all said something we've regretted.  Nowadays, we need to be even more diligent in thinking before speaking (or typing) as our words have a greater potential to reach a larger audience.

All of that isn't even the point I wanted to make with this post.  Sorry for the tangent.

My real point is the article itself, and statements made in the article.  This one made me mad..."in the so-called mommy blogosphere (ie. the thousands of blogs penned by stay-at-home moms, and it's larger than you think)..."  First of all, it "sparked a debate" in the blogosphere in general.  The people discussing this weren't just "mommybloggers."  But what really pissed me off was the ie statement.

Excuse me?  There are so many amazing bloggers out there today.  Some of them are mothers.  Some of them are fathers.  But they are also, husbands, wifes, girlfriends, boyfriends, aunts, uncles and cousins to name a few.  There are people who work in marketing, writers, firefighters, students and many more.  None of us should be defined by one title.  And to insuate that only women who stay at home and pen a blog cared is demeaning.  It demeans those women who do choose to stay home.  It demeans those people who don't, but still cared.

Moms are not the "little women staying home with the kids while their husbands go to work and pay the bills" anymore.  Moms' go to work, whether they do it in an office or at home.  They buy cars, they decide what insurance to carry, they make travel arrangements, they live busy and full lifes, just like other people that aren't mom's do.  But marketing firms and the general media seem to be missing the boat lately.  They are playing up a stereotype that they created, and it isn't valid any longer.  Yes, I wonder how many cup holders my vehicle has in it.  But that isn't a reason I will use to determine what I buy.  How roomy is it?  How many miles to the gallon does it get?  How safe is it? That's what matters to me.  And when you treat me with the respect that I deserve, you'll get my business.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wordless (well Nearly) Wednesday

It is only the 6th day of school and so far this school year is kicking my butt.

And I'd really like to go back to this enjoyable night right now.