Friday, August 27, 2010

Big Time

Oh HEY! Hi there!

I know, it's been over a week since I have blogged. It has just been such a week. Seriously. We had the family in starting Friday and running through Sunday morning and then school started promptly at an ungodly hour on Monday.

Things have been crazy ever since.

But let me back up a little. The family came in Friday night. We were able to make it out to have dinner with the inlaws, but after a very long wait (after we ordered) at the restaurant, we got back a little after the boys' bedtime.  I still had grocery shopping to do and a cake to make so I dropped Hubby and the kids off in the driveway and took off for the grocery store.

We decided to go super simple this year with the party.  Normally I go hog wild making treats and appetizers and whatnot, but this year I had to force myself to not do it. We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and I made a cake. That was it. I did pick up some corn chips and bean dip in case anyone was starving before the burgers were ready, and thankfully I did because some people (cough cough) needed something to munch on.

The cake was a simple chocolate cake with vanilla icing, per Kiddo's request.  As far as the shape goes; at first he asked me for a cake that looked like a pecan. Then after I said that might be too hard for me to make he asked for a tree with a knot in the trunk.  When we were on vacation, we would sit outside on the back porch of the house and hang out. Happy and Kiddo made up a game where they threw pecans at a big knot in the tree nearest the porch.  The person who hit the knot (or hit it the most in a round) won the game. So he wanted a cake to remember all of that. Thankfully, at the last minute he changed his mind and decided he wanted a cake with a magician's hat. I thought about making a hat shaped cake, but after looking online for inspiration, I decided the easiest thing would be to just purchase a cheap top hat and apply it to the cake somehow. Thankfully my friend Kim found one, along with a magic wand, at the local party store for super cheap! 

Anyway, everyone showed and I think a good time was had by all. The kids played well together and none of the adults looked too terribly bored for too long. Kiddo got a ton of clothes for school and a few really cool toys, some books (that he has already breezed through in less than a week) and a highly annoying mylar balloon that sings (thanks Mom!). That darn balloon is still floating (and sadly, still singing) over a week later. Thanks again, Mom. ;-)


I think I will talk about school in the next post.

Until,
D :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

That's Not My Name

I started out yesterday's post and so did not intend for it to go that direction.  As I wrote, my thoughts just went in that direction and I had a huge, pitiful moment.  It's been a long week. I am sorry.

Tonight was Kiddo's Kinder Camp at his school.  We waited for Hubby to get home so that Kiddo and I could go without the distraction of baby brother. Hubby literally got out of his car as we were all walking out the door; he scooped up little Port and carried him kicking and screaming back into the house and we screeched out of the driveway.

We walked into the school a couple of minutes late, but lots of people were still arriving. The school had posted all of the class lists on the wall. We were instructed to find out who our teacher was and then sit at her table in the cafeteria. I scanned each list carefully. Again. And again. And people crowded around me all looking for their child's name. And I look, and look and scan and scan.

I couldn't find Kiddo's name.

Now, this is where I have to say that for someone like me this is a very bad situation.  Not finding his name meant that -
ohmygoodnessIhaveto TALK tosomebodyandtheyaregoingtothink I.am. an. IDIOT.

Yes, this is what runs through my head. My stomach flip flops, I start to sweat, and I pray to God to please, please don't make me have to talk to someone! Please!!!

But I couldn't find the name. *sigh* So I walked over to the nearest official looking person and asked him what we do if we are not on the list. He looked really surprised and stumbled a bit before heading out to look for the registrar. Meanwhile, I went back over to the lists to take yet another look.

Aaaaannnd there was his name.

See, with a last name like Fry I would never expect for him to be the first on the list. But he was. And of course I missed it because I automatically started around the middle of each list. GAH! The guy returned and I sheepishly let him know I had indeed found the name (and was indeed an idiot) and we scurried away toward the cafeteria. By the time we got to the doors, the troops had been alerted and the registrar and another staff person found me and were trying to help. I politely explained (that I was an idiot) that I had found his teacher and breezed past them on the way to the cafeteria. Things had already begun inside as the last of the latecomers filed in. I shuffled Kiddo to the back of the room, thinking I could take a good look and get an idea of where we needed to go from there. They had hung a sign with the teacher's name on the end of each table. However, the signs on the tables on one side of the room had been placed on the door end of the table, making it impossible to read from the middle of the room. Of course, I couldn't find the name we needed, so I turned Kiddo toward the door so we could head out and look at the other tables from the doors. On the way out a school staff person offered to help, and while she was trying to help me was actually introduced by the speaker in the front of the room. I had to basically duck and run while she waved to the crowd who was ALL looking in that direction.

You have to understand how incredibly painful and embarrassing all of that was.

We thankfully found the table and sat down. On each table they had a sheet of stickers and each child's name was inscribed on a sticker for them to wear. I looked at the sheet and Kiddo's name was not there.

However, there was a Robert F.

Now, Kiddo has 2 middle names, and one of them happens to be Robert. After the list debacle though, I wasn't about to take the sticker and assume it was for him and was just a mistake. So I left it there and listened to the presentation. At one point the staff took each class for a tour of the school while all the parents stayed in the cafeteria. Not wanting Kiddo to go off without a name tag, I took a deep breath, found a pen in my purse and scratched out Robert and wrote Kiddo's name. I slapped it on him and sent him off with his class.

And the staffer leading them was the same guy I had asked originally about not being on the list. Kiddo jumped to the front of the line with his scratched out name tag. *smacks hand to forehead*

I am sure the guy thought I was trying to pull a fast one - couldn't find the name, suddenly found the name at the top of the list, making my own name tag....uh huh It's all very suspicious, isn't it?

The parents eventually ended up in their kid's classrooms and the children joined us after a few minutes.  Kiddo was excited about his class and his locker, and especially the goodie bag inside. He was the first kid to open the locker and find it. 

He thanked his teacher, I filled out all the required forms and we left. After walking out, Kiddo noticed his name tag was missing.  He wanted to go back in and look for it, so I let him. I walked in after him and when he couldn't find it, we turned around and walked out again. We walked through the entire school and then back to the van, got in and I drove home. When we got home, we met Port and Hubby in the driveway. I was talking to Hubby about how everything went when Kiddo suddenly exclaimed,

"THERE IT IS!! My nametag!"

It was securely clinging to my rear end.

Oh yes, not only am I an idiot, I am "that mom".

At least they won't forget me, right?

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

About A Boy

School starts next Monday, Kiddo's birthday is next Thursday, his "party" is this Saturday and I am coming off a 3 session week last week.

ummmmm....

Poor Kiddo. His birthday is going to suck.

Sometimes I feel like such a failure as a mom.  While other kids get parties with friends and decorations and gifts I give my child a last-minute, totally unplanned "get together" with maybe one or 2 friends and his grandparents. Instead of toys I ask people to buy him clothes for school.

He's only going to be 6 for crying out loud.

I haven't planned for any decorations, or games, or fun stuff. There will be no bouncy houses or water slides - we will all be stuffed in our little house together, tripping over each other and praying the a/c can keep the temperature a balmy 80 degrees...which it probably won't.

And I know he will love having his grandparents here - he loves them.  But I know he wants to have a bunch of friends over too. We just don't have the room. And with the temps outside in the 100-105 range all week, it is too hot to go to a playground or even out in the back yard. We can't afford to go somewhere else with a roof and air conditioning.

It's the last week before he starts school - forever - and all I've done is a whole lot of nothing. Suddenly I am looking back at this summer - I didn't even take him to the pool, not once. I took him to the splash park right after it opened several months ago. That was only one time too.

I suck.

I feel like I have wasted his freedom.  I keep thinking about how deserted places will be once school starts (just like I like it) and how I can take the boys places when all the other kids go back to school, and then I realize that Kiddo will be one of those kids. I wasted the whole summer waiting and now he will not be able to go anywhere.

This week has been about doctor's appointments and paperwork and schedules and phone calls. He got a shot on Monday for a vaccine he missed when he was 2.  Today we had to go up to the school to talk to the nurse about his epi-pens and allergy protocol and then after I took him to have his blood drawn for the allergy testing. I called the lab first to make sure they were comfortable doing pediatric blood draws and they assured me that "the guy" there was recommended by several doctors in the area just for that purpose.  So we go there and "the guy" is actually running the whole lab which is full of people.  He also happens to be "the guy" that, 3 years ago, tore up Kiddo's arms looking for veins and finally sent us to a pediatric specialty lab over in Round Rock. The lady we got that was to draw his blood stabbed him in the left arm and missed the vein, and then proceeded to DIG around looking for another while he screamed. He was fine with the initial stick - the digging set him off and I couldn't get him to calm down. She finally tried in the other arm and thankfully found the vein on the first try. He was so shaken by the initial stick in the other arm that he cried the whole time.

After all that drama I took the boys to Sonic for lunch and ice cream even though it was only 10:30. When we pulled into the parking lot Kiddo got a nose bleed like none I have ever seen. I guess the trauma and stress from the blood draw was too much for his little body to handle - his nose gushed for 10 minutes. I had to have him lay down on the floor of the van because I couldn't hold back the flow with just napkins.  We ordered our food and came home and had a picnic in the floor of the living room. The boys thought that was great.

So at least we had some fun today. heh

Maybe it's a good thing he is going to school.  He'll actually get out of the house and get to do fun stuff for once in his life. lol!

pathetic

Until,
D :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Taking Chances

*crickets*

Yeah, I know. That last post was a bit strange and weird. I don't blame you for not commenting. I mean, it probably was a lot to decipher. Maybe it was that I posted on a Wednesday and you all are used to me chiming in on Monday.

I am still working on that Monday post...

So, here it is Friday and I am feeling trapped under the weight of too much responsibility.  Yesterday was such an emotional day. I had to order a medical alert bracelet for Kiddo and a special pouch to for him so he could carry his epi-pens. And of course, in doing that it sparked all kinds of conversation with him about his allergy and what it will be like managing that in school.

It is impossible to gently speak to a 5 year old about his mortality.

I can't lie to him. I can't tell him that he won't die if he eats peanuts.  I mean, I pray he won't, but it is always a possibility and he knows that.  And while he expresses that part of it with such ease at times, there are moments when the reality of it bears down on his little chest and he breaks down.  He cried a lot yesterday. I held back a lot of tears of my own.

I have to take him to have his blood drawn so they can test the severity of his allergy. He is pretty scared about that too.  He is usually so brave about shots and the like, but something about them taking his blood is freaking him out. Personally, I don't blame him.

So in talking to him yesterday I could tell that while he is excited about school, he is also terrified. But not in the way a normal kid gets afraid of something new.  He is terrified about dealing with his allergy there and not having anyone "to watch out for him".  He is taking the responsibility all on his little shoulders and it rips me up.  Of course I want him to be diligent about looking out for himself, but at the same time I want him to know that there will be lots of people there looking out for him too. I don't want him to fear everything in the name of being "careful" but I don't want him living haphazardly and not paying attention to possible dangers either.

It is too much to ask of such a small child. It really is. I feel so bad that he has to take on this responsibility. No child should have to fear dying from contacting a food that 98% of the population consume in some form weekly.

So there was all that - and then last night was also Elementary Orientation.

It was strange to say the least. I did not expect to walk in to be greeted first by the principal herself and then directed to tables where people ask you to buy things.

Really?

You have to pay to join the PTA.

Really?

You have to pay to participate in the volunteer program for dads.

Really?

You should by a school shirt for your student.

Ok, so I can kind of understand that one, but my head was still spinning from the PTA... and the fact that the "hot mom" was still speaking to my husband about volunteering. And batting her eyelashes. And standing a little too close... anyway...

Thank goodness I don't carry cash. Though it was a bit awkward to walk away from the table without being the dutiful parent and signing up for everything.

The dad behind the Watch Dog (the dad volunteer program) table was someone I knew, but I couldn't place him. I hate it when that happens.  And of course, a normal person would approach him and say something like "have we met? you look so familiar." but I am not normal. So I tried to steal glances at him discreetly and I have been wracking my brain ever since trying to figure out how I know him.  The best I can figure he either worked at or was a member at the country club I used to work for. But that doesn't seem right either. It's going to bug me until I figure it out. Maybe he goes to our church?? Yup, I think that is it.

So we got a tour of the school, saw the playground and the cafeteria and the library and the Kinder hall.  I now know where drop off is and where I can park on the first couple of days if I want to walk Kiddo to his class (which ought to be real interesting with the Port in tow). The school is setting up a Mommies and Muffins room for all the crying moms on the first day. The school principal told us we shouldn't cry while we are with our kiddos, that we should put on a brave face and a happy smile.

I was holding back tears while she was saying that. Yeah, I am doomed.

I am never going to get out of that room without crying. Maybe I should warn Kiddo ahead of time.


On a good note, the earlier bed time for the boys is going really well. Thank God. Next week I will be waking up earlier and getting them up and dressed first thing in the morning as practice for school. Lord help me.

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Feed

I have another post in the works about our vacation last week, but I can't finish it until I get some pictures edited. However today I have some random thoughts going through my head that need to get out so I thought I would put them down here.

This will not be my usual "this is what we did today" report. This will be random and all over the place - as all brain dumps are.

As simply as I can put it. I like to feed people.

Ok, random, I know, but I have been faced lately with struggling with my insane desire to speak when I shouldn't, explain when I should leave things alone, and challenge when it is better to leave things unsaid.  I have been torturing myself by holding my tongue and praying for peace, understanding and release from the things that haunt me.  But in it all I have noticed that I have this strange drive to feed.

Not necessarily in food, though you know how much I do love that.  But in other ways as well.  Some of my friends tell me I am a people pleaser.  Maybe that is true. Some of it comes from the way I react if I think someone is upset with me.  It is a mental and sometimes even physical torture for me - I anguish and hurt until I know I have fixed it. It is hard for me to just get over it.  And even if someone is upset with me over something that I didn't even do - I still feel awful. 

So, I am a feeder. I like cooking for people. I like trying to cheer them up. I like extending kindness, even when it might be rebuffed. I am like an abused dog - kick me and I will come back and lick your feet anyway.

Parts of that - I really hate about myself.  I want to be "stronger", whatever that means.  Is it really strong to brush people off; to give them the proverbial "what-eveR" and walk away? I don't like being seen as weak or annoying, but I do want to be thought of as caring.

I shoulder a lot of unnecessary burden.  I take other's troubles on to myself and feel the need to make things right, even if there is nothing I can do. I cry when others hurt. I know I can't make people get over things, or feel better about things. I can't control how others let things effect them. I can't persuade someone to change their mind unless they really want to.

So, even if you are mad at me or I am mad at you or we aren't on good terms or if things are difficult between us... if you are hurting, I want to help.  When you feel bad, I feel bad.  And helpless. And sorry. Sorry for what? I don't know - and it doesn't matter.  It is just how I feel.  And if I could find a way to make things better I would. Because all I really want is for everyone's experience in this life to be good.  I feel like I have something to offer to everyone - be it a kind word, a thoughtful gesture, or a delicious chocolate cake. I want to feed your belly, feed your eyes, feed your ears, feed your soul. I want to leave you better than I found you. I want to bring peace, understanding and grace. I want you to know that no matter how the world treats you and no matter how you treat yourself, you are loved.  I want you to stop beating yourself up for things you did, I want you to let go, I want you to learn and move on, and know that each experience in life helps us grow - experiences should never hold us back or keep us in a bad place. 

In college, our choir went through a few months of dealing with a horrible choral director.  It was awful going to class every day, listening to everyone complain and bicker, moan and groan.  At one point, a girl in my section was complaining once again how she had paid good money to go to college to learn, and that being in this director's class was such a waste.  I rarely spoke out in times like that; shoot, I rarely spoke at all.  But I'd had enough of her bickering and I told her that she could still learn from the experience.  At the very least, she could learn what NOT to do.

It probably wasn't a life altering moment for her, but it made her think (I think) and the bickering stopped. It was life altering for me though - while I was the one that said it, I had never really thought about things that way. And from then on I tried, with any experience, good or bad, to learn something, even if it was what not to do.

Life is all about how you look at it. You can take bad things and let them ruin you forever, or you can view them as a learning or a growing experience and you can move on as a better person.  Dwelling on heartache and poor decisions isn't fair to anyone, especially you.  With most things, I have chosen to forgive, to heal, to move on, and to look back only in the interest of learning and using those experiences to not make the same mistakes again. I'm not saying it is instant - a lot of it took time (sometimes a LONG time) but eventually I get there.

If I know you are hurting, I want to help. I want to find the right words, the right song, the right message. I want to bring a ray of light to your world - if only for a moment. Sometimes it is hard to sit here so helplessly, wanting to give and knowing it may not be wanted.

I want to know that my presence in your life brought you to a better place. Even if it was bad at the time, that the experience helped steer you to a better life without me. And if it was good, that it is something you can fondly look back on.

Because even the bad people in my life, even the ones that angered me or broke my heart - I am still thankful for them for making me who I am.  I am thankful that those experiences pushed me and changed my direction toward the life I have now; toward my family and my friends.  I am thankful for the heartache and the life altering decisions. I am thankful that some things didn't go the way I had hoped, because if they had, I would have never ended up where I am now.

I am thankful for the path God has put me on, even if it's not lined with rose petals.

Thanks for reading.

Until,
D :)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Lovely

Ahh another big Monday in the Fry household! We started out our day with this...

It fell out while he was brushing his teeth. He thought it was funny because his toothpaste "changed color from blue to red". lol! Thankfully he thought to pull it out of the sink before turning on the water.  He is so incredibly excited. He's been looking at it all day and telling everyone we meet that he lost his tooth. It's hilarious!

After that excitement, we had an appointment with the allergist. Joy. They did a full nut panel on his back and he reacted to, of course, peanuts, and a wonderful newcomer, almonds.

UGH

I have no idea how to keep a kid from almonds. He was also given paperwork to do a blood draw so they can start charting his peanut allergy levels. Apparently if his fall within a certain range on the low end, they will have him come in and eat a peanut to see if he is truly allergic (boy, that sounds like fun!). If his number falls somewhere in the middle, he will have to be rechecked every couple of years because it would be possible to outgrow the allergy.  If his number is on the high end of the scale he most likely won't outgrow it and have to deal with it for the rest of his life.

They did a peanut only test on Port, and thankfully he didn't react.  He actually did react to the "control", whatever that was. The whole thing seemed weird to me though. It was too early in the morning for me to be extremely alert and mindful of any questions I may need to ask.

Blah

There is so precious little that is simple these days.

When I was taking the toof picture off my camera I came across this one too. I forgot I took it last week.
That, my friends, is over 30 cucumbers I accumulated in a matter of a few days. I had to pull them all out of my fridge, dump them in a bag and pawn them off on my friends. Those 2 funky ones in the container on the right went in the compost of course. But the rest of them were perfectly fine. I still ended up with about 15 more that I made into pickles. The very next day I picked 6 more.  It does, thankfully, now look like it may be getting too hot. The vines aren't producing as much.  

I still have a ton-o-basil that I will have to do something with soon or it's going to go bad. I guess I will start freezing it and drying it. I already have a bunch drying in the kitchen. I can only cook with it so much.

I also have a ton of okra in the freezer. I guess I am going to pickle it. I don't know if I can fry it - I need to find a good batter that will stick.

Oh and after dropping a ton of $$ on the CRV last week, Hubby was driving it over to the shop to get it inspected and - you'll never guess what happened!!!

The check engine light came on.

Oh yes, that car loves us. We had the code read and it is still saying something is wrong with the exhaust system. It could be either the O2 sensor (which we've had replaced once or twice already) the catalytic converter (which we just dropped $350 on) or a fuel mixture issue.

Does anyone know of a good cliff we could push it off of?

Yup, it's Monday.

Until,
D :)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

You and I

"See I'm all about them words
Over numbers, unencumbered numbered words
Hundreds of pages, pages, pages for words
More words then I had ever heard and I feel so alive" ~Jason Mraz, You and I

This morning's church service was about the power of words. We studied scriptures in Proverbs and learned how words can be the fruit that fills or the knife that cuts deep into our souls.  The bible says "the tongue has the power of life and death".

I am a woman of many words.

I find this revelation odd because growing up, I did very little speaking. I guess I was saving it up for my adult life. Now, most people, once they get me talking, can't get me to shut up.  And God forbid you ever get into an email tussle with me; I can write for pages on end.  When the words are swirling in my head, the spin faster and faster and get louder and louder and all I can do it type as quickly as I can to get them out or they drive me crazy.  I have been known to get up in the middle of the night and write something out.  I have pulled over on the side of the road to type a note into my phone; because the words in my head won't leave me alone if they feel they need to be heard. I am owner of a number of blogs - this one of course, but a couple others that no one reads.  I save those for the things I just have to get out and express without fear of judgment or disappointing people in my life. They are my purging places and I value them greatly.

I have always known the power of words. I try to choose mine wisely, though I don't always succeed.  And in the past couple of weeks I have experienced the full spectrum of what words can do.  I have experienced the joy, I have experienced the heart ache and I have experienced the very real physical pain that words can inflict.  Words have elated me and cut me to the core.  My heart has swelled and shattered.  And through it all, the power of words is what drives me to carry on. 

When we are young and emotionally and hormonally charged, every. word. counts. Every thing that is said holds 1000 times more meaning than the average word.  Every pause, every nuance means so much.  Some people never let that go.  Into adulthood they still believe in the immense power of words and they read more than necessary into everything.  Contrarily, some adults let it all go.  Words mean nothing to them; actions are what count.  I think I am somewhere in the middle, with words still holding more weight. But actions are important for backing up words involving promises or declarations. 

We have to be careful with our words.  We have to hold them and groom them until they are just right and the timing is ideal.  We have to use them to speak the truth or they become useless and invaluable. Sometimes they get away from us and fly out messy, unruly and viscous. And sometimes they slip out of our grasp in a whisper, never to be heard.

My words count. Your words count. They mean something. Words. Have. Power.

I pray I can always find a way to say what needs to be said, in the most powerful, kind, truthful and meaningful way.

Until,
D :)

Proverbs 18:20-21
From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled; with the harvest of his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death. And those who love it will eat it's fruit.
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