Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

One can only hope that 2010 will be better than 2009 in many ways. With any luck the economy will continue to improve, job rates will improve, child abuse will go away and we won't lose any one else to stupid mistakes (like, oh, I don't know...drunk drivers?!?).

Walgreens has digital prints on sale for 9 cents this week and yesterday I got an additional 5% off my usual 20% discount. I was able to get all the Disney pictures submitted to be printed, which was nice. I'm trying to go through all the old pictures now to see about getting those printed since we have no pictures printed really since Baby Girl was born in 2004. We have a million in storage on the server, but no physical albums (funny, this was my exact argument about getting a digital camera vs a film camera).

So I'm currently editing the 2004 files, pulling out the crappy ones or duplicates. And I came across a picture of Patrick at our cousin's wedding. And it was a bit of a shock and then a hit to the stomach.

It's almost been a year that he's been gone. And it's gotten easier, but not much. It still hurts and I still have way too much anger.

So what I want for 2010 is to let go of some of the anger. Not all of it, I'm not ready for that. But I want the criminal case against his killer to be done and I need some of my anger until that happens. I'm tired of the continuances, tired of the stalling. Finish it. Perhaps this is why so many people lack faith in the judicial system? I understand it's working, but there is no doubt he killed Patrick. There is no doubt he was under the influence of alcohol. Why continue to draw-out the pain of the victim's family by allowing him to keep stalling?

Argh.

I wish everyone success and happiness in 2010. I hope you are able to do what you want most in life and find it's even better than you imagined.

Stay safe and for the love of all that is holy, have a designated driver!

Monday, December 7, 2009

there is no hope for....

breasts. I'm watching the new Britney Spears video "3" and she's got this deep-V swimsuit thing on and her boobs are sagging. And not in the "cute" no under wire way, in the I've squeezed out 2 kids and am quickly approaching my 30's.

Which means that I, who has squeezed out 2 kids and am well INTO my 30's and certainly do not have Britney's body (ahem) has absolutely no hope.

Unfortunately I had noticed a few months ago that the girls were looked a little depressed.

Urgg.

Of course, the gray hairs is probably more distressing. I'm gonna blame Patrick for that one. Because holy crap, I went from a few gray hairs to a lot of them in the past year. Even though I color my hair, those little bastards are stubborn. Oh well.

T-minus 18 days until Christmas. I ordered Baby Girl's "big gift" from JC Penny's...it was clearance and I had an additional 20% off code (which basically paid for the shipping). Stinkin' thing has not shipped yet, so I'm nervous they will sell out of it or something, which would suck so bad. So I continue to stalk the JCP website shipping status.

Little Man's "big gift" arrived Saturday, a kid's digital camera. He does really well at taking pictures. He's been using our old Canon (yep, we've let the 4-year old use a better digital camera than some of our friends have...). But it would suck if he destroyed the camera, so we went for one of the tough ones meant for little hands. I love a lot of his pictures, it's fun to see the world through the eyes of a 4 year old.

So just a few small gifts for the kids to complete them and then a gift for my BIL. All that will be left is small gifts for the kindergarten teacher's and making the chocolates for my MIL and her BFF.

We went to a concert at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center Saturday and it was simply amazing. So enjoyable.

Lots of work this week, then dinner and cookie decorating with a friend and her family this weekend. Very excited to see her, it's been far too long. Next week is a weird week of work...I work Monday and Wednesday during the day. Which will give the kids some time with the in-laws. Always a good thing. Plus I'll have time with them in the evening.

I'm excited for that Friday, dinner with friends at a restaurant that is getting a lot of good press/reviews. And I see these friends too far and in-between. I wish jobs could be created based on availability, lol. I can work Monday-Friday 7 AM to 10 AM. See, 15 hours a week! Oh well.

There's always next year for a job when Little Man is in school full-time. Oy. I can't believe it's almost 2010 and that we're 1/2 way through the school year. 34 is upon me in 32 days.

But first the holidays. Which are always magical because the kids BELIEVE.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mournnig

Really, this grown-up shit sucks. There was an accident last Friday. Family friends lost their son and his best-friend when a drunk-driver plowed into their truck. The truck burst into flames, the family put the fire out, trying to save the driver, not realizing their son was in the truck.


Can you imagine?


So I will pay our respects this Saturday and I will try to keep it together. With a little help from some anti-anxiety pills. Which brings a whole different issue. I'm all for taking medication when you need it. Never thought I'd have to take anti-anxiety pills. Yet another piece of fall-out from Patrick's death.


Because I never could have delivered that eulogy so coherently without them. I'm not too proud to admit that; I was a freakin' mess. I knew I was a mess.


I went to the doctor a few days before the funeral and my blood pressure was through the roof. The medical assistant got shitty, "Why's your blood pressure so high?"


"Probably because my baby brother was killed about a week ago in a car accident."


She stared at me for a moment and, of course, my doc had just come out of a room to hear the exchange and even he stared at me for a moment, unable to move, processing.


I was quickly ushered into the room, heh.


And this accident is really hard to process. To come to terms with. Because I really don't understand the whole driving drunk thing. Why it's so much more common than anyone wants to believe. But I live in Wisconsin. The land of drinking and driving. It was only a matter of time before it affected our family again.


Which sucks.


And I wish I had words that could ease the pain of my Aunt and Uncle and cousins. Because these kids were like their kids/brothers. And it enhances my pain and the loss of my family this year.


I don't know if I'm strong enough for this. To not lose it there. I've been to church exactly once since Patrick died. And I cried through most of Mass. And I am a coward, I haven't been back.


I hate to have the kids see me cry more. I feel like I've used up my quota of crying-in-front-of-the-kids this year (and perhaps for the next 5 years?!?).


And the worst is the time in the car, driving alone to pick a child up from school. Because that just leaves too much time for my mind to wander and ponder.


Yesterday, I tried my best to not. I blasted the radio with great songs. As loud as it would go. And I still cried.


And I am still crying.

*don't worry, I'm not in a deep, dark depression. More of a passing depression...it's really only bad when my mind is unoccupied and can go back to these things. Which would explain my need to fill every-freakin'-minute of my days lately. Even the simple task of crocheting is enough to occupy my mind most of the time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Falling out of bed

Literally. I was stretching my much too tense back and didn't pay attention. Suddenly I was falling in slow-motion on to my hardwood floor. Gumby flew out of the bathroom swearing. It's been a banner night in the Reed household!

Monday, November 30, 2009

And the countdown to Christmas begins...

Which means I am making lists, lists and more lists.

What cookies am I making with who and splitting up ingredients. What am I making for Christmas Eve? What am I making for Christmas Day? Who's getting what gifts?

Thankfully most of the shopping is done. All that is left is my brother-in-law and my Dad and a few gifts for the kids (OK, actually I still need to get Baby Girl's "big" gift and a few small ones, but it's still mostly done!). I ordered Little Man's "big" gift today along with a small gift for Baby Girl. We got a $10 off a $10 purchase @ Kohl's this weekend, so I plan to get a small gift Friday night during the Night Owl specials.

Our Christmas tree is up, very early for us. We had a yummy dinner Saturday night and put it up. The kids did a great job decorating. It's now just been an issue to remind them to leave the ornaments alone! Oscar has resumed living under the tree.

Next up will be making chocolate candies for my Mother-in-law and her BFF for their gifts.

Much to do in the next 24 days!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Much to do to prepare. The kids are off of school this week. I had Parent/Teacher conferences on Monday. Overall, they are both doing extremely well. Baby Girl is still pokey and always last in line, to recess, lunch, etc. Ultimately, we think it's a control issue with her. She will deal with you and your demands when she is good and ready *sigh*

So, she must be broken to realize she needs to do what she's told, when she's told. We've always expected that of her, but have been a bit lax as of late and now it's coming back to bite us in the ass.

Otherwise, she is very ready to start reading and at or above where she should be on everything. Which is great since she is one of the youngest, if not the youngest, in the class.

Little Man is doing spectacular as well. His teacher had the same observations as me. We noticed such a difference in the first 2 weeks. She indicated he thought it was playtime when school first started and after about 2 weeks he got it that it was time to learn, not play. They do, of course, play, but it's learning and playing. We need to keep working on counting with him, but he's exactly where he should be, again, being one of the youngest in the class (I actually do think he is the youngest...damn me and my late spring/early summer due dates!)

I did the Thanksgiving shopping Monday before conferences and made the green bean casserole yesterday along with the stuffing/dressing. Today I will make the sweet potatoes, glazed carrots and pumpkin pie.

I'm working quite a bit again, averaging 20.5 hours a week the next few weeks. Good to have the hours, but makes for a very tired girl!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November

There are moments when life is pretty shitty. Take this past week. Money is tight (isn't it always???). But when you just get back from Disney World, it tends to be really tight. Which is cool, I mean we had the trip of a lifetime.

But the exhaust decided to literally fall off the car. To the tune of $425 we really didn't have to spare, but there wasn't much choice as we kinda need the car.

Next I decided it was time to be sick. And by sick, I mean holy-crap-my-brain-is-about-to-explode-congestion sick. My first sinus infection in quite some time. And they decided I probably have the flu, quite possibly the swine flu, so I got treated for that too. To the tune of another $90 for 3 prescriptions (because America's health care situation is just fine!!!!!! We don't have to rob Peter to pay Paul!)

But now I sit here on the couch, finally listening to Christmas music (because although Gumby has a post-Thanksgiving rule, if the radio stations switch before that, I am exempt as long as I'm listening to the radio. Heh. I love my clauses.)

And the children are playing in the sandbox and the dog is sitting 10 feet away on high-alert for a rogue squirrel trying to attack them (it could happen!).

And although I feel pretty horrific, it's a moment of sheer perfection. Satisfaction in life and reflection of blessings.

2009 has left a lot to be desired for our family. A lot of loss and mourning.

But we are still standing at the end (albeit, short 1 Reed and a set of breasts).

I still struggle over the loss of Patrick as we come to the 9th month since his death. But in this moment, I can mourn him and be content with where we are all at once.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Grief

Grief is a tricky little bitch. Sneaky. Stealthy.

Thirty years ago today (or tomorrow, depending on when I post this....we're close to midnight, so I guess it all depends on where you are in the world) Patrick was born.

His time was cut way too short.

It soon will be 9 months since Patrick was killed. A few days ago I picked the kids up from my in-laws and Little Man said with such sadness in his voice, "Mommy, I really miss Uncle Patrick."

And more than anything I want to take away the pain of my family, to make it whole again. For my husband to not miss his little brother. For my in-laws to not grieve their son and brother. To not have my 4 and 5 year old children know such loss. Such an unnecessary loss.

I would gladly take all the pain myself to make it go away for the rest, but I can't.

So here we are 8 months later and I still have days where I sob in the shower.

Days where I have such angry, illogical, irrational, imaginary verbal diarrhea towards his killer. Who's still free. Who's still fighting the felony charges. Who gets to live his life.

I know, he has to live with the guilt, blah, blah, blah. I don't really give a fuck. Everyone says I need to forgive him. And at this point, no, I really don't have to forgive him. There is nothing forgivable about the situation.

BECAUSE HIM GETTING ROTISSERIE CHICKEN COST MY FAMILY WAY TOO FUCKING MUCH.

Order a fucking pizza next time, k?

I would have liked to have written a nice post about how great Disney World was and all that, but soon it will be Patrick's birthday and we, as a family, have to figure out how to get through the day without Patrick. Because we've figured out the mundane, everyday life without him. And we continue to dodge the mines of the holidays, but this would have been his 30th birthday.

Such a monumental birthday that he never got to see, to celebrate.

The weather is unseasonably warm for Wisconsin and we will go to the zoo as a family to get the in-laws out of the house and to celebrate his life once again.

*****I started this post in mid-October, but didn't post until November 7th...apparently the blog software decided to use the date I started the post on. Dang, I really need to pay more attention to this stuff.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Allergies can kiss my ass

About 18 months ago, I was finally diagnosed with an allergy to dust mites. Little fuckers. Which means our mattress and box spring need to be encased in a gigantic plastic bag and our linens must be washed on hot pretty frequently to avoid an allergy attack.


Keep in mind, dust mites are EVERY-FUCKING-WHERE. So, if I sleep on our 20 year old couch, allergy attack.


Tonight it's chilly. In addition to our hypo-allergic comforter, Gumby brought a very comfy blanket to bed. I'd been asleep maybe 30 minutes and woke up, hardly able to breathe and a horrific allergy attack. ARG.


Now I sit here, waiting for the benadryl to kick in, so I can go back to sleep.


This sucks.

Baby Girl is completely into her routine and loving school. Little Man also fell right in and loves being there in the morning and coming home with me for a few hours in the afternoon.

The other day I arrived just a moment late to pick him up, they were just excusing him and I could see him scanning the crowd of parents with a huge grin on his face, wearing his sunflower mask he made. When he didn't see me, I saw the disappointment. It's interesting to see the impact. I stepped out from behind a parent and he was instantly back to happy.

We had Parent's Night at school a few weeks ago. We each met with their teachers. This time I made Gumby take Little Man's class and I went to Baby Girl's class. I figure Gumby never remembers the details and since Baby Girl actually has homework and such, it was more important I see her teacher. Afterwards Gumby went to choir (and he's still struggling with the idea that the Choral Director told him he was a tenor) and I went to the parent assembly.

It's amazing the things that they have going for fundraising. Lots of opportunities to volunteer in the coming months.

What's also amazing is what the kids are going to learn in 5K. Basically it seems like what was 1st grade when we were kids is now 5K. That's a lot of responsibility for a 5 year old. I do like that they are teaching the kids to read now as one large group, but they will break them into groups later in the year based on their level.

Today we took the kids to the Elegant Farmer. Thought they'd both go for a caramel apple, but Little Man got a huge cookie, then opted to share Mary Mac's caramel apple with her (poor woman!) and Baby Girl copied Mommy and got a piece of the famous apple pie baked in a bag. I had mine topped with cinnamon ice cream and she opted for blue moon (just like her Daddy!). Which was gross, by the way. But she liked it. *gag*

We are closer and closer to our trip to Disney. It's very exciting and I can't wait. The kids still don't know that's where we're going, through Baby Girl has some very strong suspicions. A friend from K5 went a few weeks ago, Baby Girl mentioned we're going to Florida and the friend said, "That's where Disney World is! Are you going???"

Baby Girl then told me this in the car and asked and I almost choked on my laughter.

It will be a great time. A healing time.

Tomorrow is another court date for the man that killed Pat. I'm sure it will simply end in another continuance. It seems like they have not real desire to end this. Which feels like they don't want to give us closure, but I know that's reading way too much into it.

It's still frustrating to miss him so much 8 months out. To still have to have crying jags in the shower where the kids can't see or hear me. I know it's healthy for them to know I'm still sad about it and to know that's OK, but I don't need them to see me when I have a freakin' breakdown. They saw enough of that in the weeks immediately following the accident. So you can see the problem, no?

Alas, Florida is our time for healing. It will be a wonderful, difficult time. I'm loading up on my anxiety pills now......

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Week

As we move into the 2nd week of September, we celebrated Labor Day. I can't say I really know why we celebrate Labor Day, but I'm always willing to take a day off. Additionally, the Walworth County Fair is Labor Day weekend and is by far, my most favorite fair.

Yeah, I get weepy about State Fair like a child. And it's cool and we have fun. But Walworth is a different kind of beast. First of all, it's a dry fair. Which rocks.

blink::blink

Yes, it does rock. And let me tell you why. I can actually keep my children there past 7 PM and I don't have to worry about a bunch of drunks either swearing in front of them, spilling beer on us or getting into a general brawl as is so common at summer festivals in Wisconsin.

Last year we stayed and saw Huey Lewis and the News perform. This year? Styx. At the ripe ages of 4 and 5, the kids have seen more concerts than Gumby had at 18! We sit off to the side on the race track on the grass and the kids can dance around and I don't have to be neurotic that it's too loud for their little ears. They have a wonderful time and we get to giggle at them.

Gumby's parents came with us this year. His Mom was well enough to do it. Which was so much fun. And a friend of his from work met up with us with her 2 1/2 year old so. Ah, good times. The kids had a blast climbing all the different tractors and such for well over an hour and then saw a lumberjack show.

Like I said, way different from the State Fair, but my favorite by far.

Today my MIL has her reconstruction surgery. She's a bit worried and tried to distract herself all weekend the best she could, so we had a BBQ at their house yesterday. Very yummy.

So hopefully this will be her easiest surgery to day and it will be a quick recovery.

Besides, the woman is beside herself that The Beatles Rock Band comes out tomorrow. I have strict instructions to go buy her the super-deluxe edition (yep, with all the instruments). Which is cool, because now we'll have back up drums, heh.

Disney will pretty well set. I still need to get the car rental for our day at the ocean and then one for my in-laws when they stay after we leave. I'm getting pretty excited about it.

The rest of school went well last week. Now on to another week. Hopefully it will go well too!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten

Yesterday was the first day of kindergarten. Some Mom's cried. Other's rejoiced. I just wanted to get them there on time (did I, you ask? Meh, close enough).

The one thing we really didn't consider in all of this is that we live 15 minutes from the school without traffic. With traffic? Who the hell knows. So we need to get the rhythm down that we leave 15 minutes earlier than we did yesterday (today was a bust, left at the same time...hopefully traffic won't be bad for them).

Back to the first day.

Being a Catholic school and yesterday being the 1st day and all, the morning involved the entire family. We got there and did an art project downstairs. Follow in His footsteps is the theme for the year, so the kids had a foot picture to decorate as they wanted.

As usual, I had Little Man and Gumby had Baby Girl. Little Man started to draw our family on the foot.

"That's you Mumma!" (big smile, so that's good)

"And that's the Duck!"

Gumby's new name with the kids is The Duck. I won't go into it, but let's just say he doesn't talk like Donald Duck :)

After the project there was a special Mass for the families. It's been a while since Little Man was in church. He was so frickin' squirrelly. But we survived. Barely.

Next up was a special performer in the gym. Good God in Heaven, aren't we done yet?!?

Er, I mean, cool.

At the end, Little Man and I left for the day and Baby Girl stayed. Her first full day. And I was excited for her and she was super-excited.

I decided to make her some Apple Nut Muffins we'd seen Paula Deen make the week prior on Foodnetwork (yes, Baby Girl was watching with me and asked me to make them).

Things got a bit off schedule with making the muffins, but Little Man and I were to her school in plenty of time to pick her up (because there's no frickin' rush hour traffic at 3 PM!).

Out she comes. Into the sea of parents cheering and laughing and having a general celebration. And holy shit did she scowl at me.

"How was your first day sweetie?!?"

"Bad. I don't want to go to school anymore." she snarled.

OK. Time for plan B.

"Say goodbye to Mrs. NiceLady."

"Goodbye Teacher."

No hug, no pleasantness at all.

Whoa nelly.

Into the car we go and I try to get to the bottom of the crabbiness (other than sheer exhaustion).

"So what was wrong with the day Baby Girl?"

"I don't want to go back because a little girl in my class got hurt by a boy."

"Well, I'm sure he didn't do it on purpose honey. It was an accident."

"NO, Mom. He said he did it on purpose."

"Did you hear him say he did it on purpose?"

"No, but I'm sure he did."

blink:blink

"OK. You can't say he did it on purpose if you didn't hear him say it, that's mean."

I then proceeded to get yelled at for not sending her with a spoon (oh shit, now I just realized I forgot to put one in today's lunch too. Fuck.) and that her teacher was yelling at lunch.

"She was yelling at students?"

"No, she yelled for another teacher to grab a milk for her."

Oh good grief.

Needless to say, she was nearly passed out as we pulled into the driveway. Next thing I know, she let's out a hysterical shriek and I nearly drive the car onto the lawn.

WTF?!?

"What is it?!?"

"Little Man hit me on the forehead." she sobs.

I look at Little Man who had such a shit-eating grin on his face.

"Why'd you hit her?"

"I was waking her up Mumma."

Personally, I think she was irritating him as much as she irritated me, so he just whacked her for it. Alas, I had to stiffle the giggle and tell him not to hit his sister.

Did I mention I was glad I had to work last night?!?

Other than that, not a whole lot going on. Just trying to get through this adventure.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cooking

I'm trying to be better about planning our weekly meals.

It keeps me organized and allows me to keep a "budget" at the store. I'm not buying stuff to throw together to make meals, I'm actually planning the meals, so I know exactly what we need.

Monday I made chicken cacciatore; turned out well. Need to use a different wine next time; but Gumby enjoyed the leftover wine :)

Last night they were on their own as I worked.

Tonight, Ultimate Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Cheese. Because there's so much cheese they have to list it twice, heh. But it looks super yummy and I'm excited to try it.

Tomorrow night is the back to school picnic, so I have to make a dessert. I still have left-overs of the home-made chocolate buttercream frosting, so I'm going for either a cake or cupcakes so I can use that up. Might have to run to Jo-Ann to buy a cupcake carrier (because I always need an excuse to buy fun stuff!).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WTF?!?

You know, the world is truly bizarre.

1) Brett Farve has signed as QB for the Vikings. Again, WTF?!?

2) Mayor Barrett of Milwaukee was beated up after trying to stop a man from assaulting a woman. He was leaving State Fair with his family and heard the man yelling and tried to step in and the man beat the shit out of him with a pipe. Who the fuck does that? Stepping in would have been something Gumby would have done, so it could have easily been him. But it was our mild, kind mayor. His first news conference will be aired shortly and it's just so upsetting.

3) My kid's foot is growing at a freakish rate. I bought her a pair of shoes for school in a size and a half bigger than her last pair and they barely fit. Back to Kohl's to exchange. *sigh*


State Fair was fun this year. My MIL did well walking, I was impressed.

The In-laws hosted a memorial picnic for Patrick this past weekend. It was a blast. I think there were around 60 people there at one point. Gumby smoked his best ribs yet (that was some good shit). There wasn't enough room to smoke the chickens, so I roasted them on the grill and wowsers, those were good too. It was so much fun with both new and old friends. We needed to do that more often (ok, not the memorial part, heh. Just the get-together).

Otherwise I'm spending a lot of my time getting the kids ready for school. I can't believe they are both starting school. They are very excited. We have been invited to the back to school picnic next week. This Sunday after Mass we'll get the rest of their school paperwork and hopefully information on the Home/School Association. I figure I'll join that and help out since I'll have free time while they are both in school. We have to volunteer one or two shifts during the school year for both the lunch room and the playground, so I won't be bored, ha ha.

When we returned from camping a week ago, the water main had broke in the basement again. Lost a lot more. Holy crap, we are down quite a bit. Moving won't be such a chore next time, h aha.

Oh, here comes the Mayor for his news conference. Oh, dear Lord, he really did get beaten. I really don't understand people. I don't understand how things like this happen. Fuck, I must be so damn naive. How can someone do that to another person?

Of course, I still don't understand how someone could be so fucking drunk and "need chicken for fajitas" and kill my baby Patrick on the way to the store.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Camping and other adventures

We've been back a few weeks after a week of camping just outside of Minocqua, WI at Crystal Lake. Which means last week was very cold and wet. Because we don't have any other type of vacation, heh.



The lake was beautiful and we were able to go swimming one day. The water was so freakin' cold, but I finally convinced Gumby to go in with me. We had quite a good time splashing about with the kids.



we grilled twice, but then the rain got the best of us, so we ate out to save my sanity and to keep us from all freezing to death.



We spent an afternoon at the Wildlife Park and were able to feed the bears "bear juice" (which, always makes me think of "Jesus Juice" that Michael Jackson called wine).

Not much has gone on since. The kids had another session of swim class. This time Little Man was in the Preschool level and Baby Girl was in Level 1 again. At the end of it Little Man advanced to Level 1 and Baby Girl will be repeating Level 1. Urg.

All the confidence she had last summer in the pool is gone. Poof. No idea why, just gone. I blame it on her being a girl, quite honestly. We are fickle beasts.

Little Man, meanwhile, seems to have found her confidence and has been a little fish (an inattentive fish, but a fish, none-the-less).

Tomorrow is the first day of State Fair. We are headed out with my MIL and her BFF. Gumby is working, saving vacation days for Disney. The FIL has decided not to hang out with a bunch of hens (I said Little Man counted as a man, you know, with his penis and all, but FIL could not be swayed to hang out with 3 women and a 4 year old boy).

But I do love the fair, so it's quite exciting for me and the kids.

Afterwards we head up to my folks for my Dad's birthday weekend. Nothing much planned, I think we'll just hang out and take it easy, but I'm sure some trouble will find us, it always does.

School starts in a few weeks for the kids. I'm beside myself. I cannot believe both of my kids are starting school. Little Man will only be in half-day 4K, so that will ease it for me, but Baby Girl goes full-day 5K. We got a packet from Little Man's teacher today with the school supply list, a list of questions, etc. Oy.

We also near the next criminal trial date for the man that killed Patrick. I've been struggling, I find as we approach each court date, I am more prone to cry when I'm alone in the car or to just be generally pissed off. I just cannot fathom how any of this is fair/just/whatever the fuck you want to call it.

And don't tell me life isn't fair, because I will shove your words up your ass. Trust me on this.

It's amazing to me how the smallest thing can be a kick to the stomach. Tonight as I cleaned out the diaper bag (or now kid backpack as neither are in diapers) I came across the shells from the 21 gun salute at Pat's funeral. I was OK with that. Strangely, because during the actually 21 gun salute, I sobbed like a baby.

But I found a key at the bottom of the bag and thought, "Oh, its the blank key we bought for my old Maxima to have spare."

And then I looked at it. And it's a Kawasaki key. Patrick's motorcycle key.

For a moment, all the air was sucked out of my lungs and I couldn't speak. And it was all I could do to not break down in front of Gumby (because the man suffers enough from me randomly crying over the past 6 months).

I asked if it was Pat's and Gumby looked at it and said, "Huh. Yeah, I guess so."

I quietly pocketed the key. It will go on my keyring. I'm not going all Queen Latifa and wearing it, but it will be close to me.

Said it before and I'll say it again. This being a grown-up shit sucks.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Oxyclean?!?!?

Yesterday while driving the kids over to the in-laws so I could meet friends downtown for some adult beverages and a bite to eat I was asked by Little Man if we have Oxyclean.

blink:blink

Err, yeah. Why?

Because it can get the stains out Mumma. And my shirt has banana stains. Can you get them out?

blinkblink:blinkblink

Well, I can try to get it out with the Oxyclean, it works well, but sometimes it can't get everything out.

To which Baby Girl jumps in.

But Mom, they showed it getting all the stains out. It's a miracle!

Now I'm mildly twitching, wondering just how the hell my children know about Oxyclean.

Um, how do you know about Oxyclean?

TV Mumma! It was on the commercial!

Ahhhhh...now to talk to your father about letting you watch TV with commercials. this is why I only let them watch PBS peoples.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ode to the Furries

This past weekend, my MIL and I spent in Pittsburgh. We went to the convention that Patrick went to for many years, volunteering as an EMT. This was his "thang". He loved it and loved many of the people there. One of the many reasons he had 8 million friends.

Anyway, they were having a memorial service for Patrick and wanted family to be there. I went in my FIL's place for many reasons, but the most important being this is really fucking hard for him.

Good gravy, let me start by saying how pretty Pittsburgh is when you approach the city from the airport. You pop out of a tunnel through a mountain and suddenly downtown is in front of you. We had a good time catching up with many of his friends that we knew and met many more that had been unable to attend the funeral.

It was amazing to hear from so many people and the impact Patty had on their lives, a few he had even saved.

The memorial was very nice and moving. There was a flag ceremony with bagpipes (always a sucker for men in uniform). It was so hard for his friends, for this final goodbye.

What killed me was the final call for him on the radio. I guess it's tradition for those that are EMT's, Fire, Police, etc. But holy shit, I cried. I was not expecting it and it was just so....final.

Which has left me in a funk. Today was the arraignment of the man that killed Pat. His lawyer called for an independent analysis of the blood alcohol, delaying it even longer. I would hope it would just end. Finish it. But, of course, his lawyer must search every nook and crany to find a way to get him less time. *sigh*

I'm tired of thinking about it, tired of crying. Tired of my anger. I want to be done missing Pat and to have him home. Tired of my 4 year old son telling me he misses his uncle and asking why he had to die. Irrational? Of course, but a girl can dream.

Alas, we are going camping this weekend. First *big* camping trip with the kids. We'll be gone for a week. Which is exciting and scary at all once. The FIL is going to try to fix the furnace on the camper this week before we go in the event it too cold in the night once we're up there. I need to take inventory of what's in the camper for gear and see what I need to hunt down. I thought everything was in there, but I couln't find the pie irons/s'more sticks on our last trip (though, I didn't check under one of the couches).

All in all, it's pretty exciting. The kids are excited to go. I'm slightly bummed because cherries will be ready for picking this weekend, so I probably will not get to make cherry preserves/pie filling this year. That is a complete bummer!

Going to see a bunch of friends tonight, I'm excited. Hoping to find someone to watch the kids so John can come as well since this was originally scheduled for Friday (which I had covered!).

Monday, June 22, 2009

I love blogging, but...

I have found it increasingly difficult since Patrick died. So much sadness and anger that I just haven't found the ability to get "out".

The man that killed Patrick has been arrested. He posted bail and is now out. He has resigned from the military. All-in-all, I'd like to speak with him to get my own "radar sense" on his feelings/remorse for taking Patrick from us, but I can't do that. All I can do is stalk the California circuit court website for updates. Because they are soooooo accommodating to the family of the dead. *eye roll*

Father's Day was hard for my FIL yesterday. His first with only 2 sons. I cannot even imagine how he felt. I know how I feel, but for it to be your son. Uggg.

But we had a nice time with the family, first with mine, then with the in-laws. The children colored mugs for both Grandpa's, which I think was a hit because both love their warm beverages and anything colored by a 4 and 5 year old is cute ;)

I miss Patrick. for a while it was easy to pretend (or more accurately, not think about it) that he was just overseas. My "spidey-sense" knew something was a-brewin' this week, so it's been difficult for me. I still have moments of just random crying, but they are far less than they were. I find it's just when we get major updates regarding the criminal case for the man responsible for his death that I have my bad times.

His car is finally coming home from Chicago today. I'm not sure how I feel about that. When our car had gotten totaled, the in-laws offered us his car to which we both roared, "NO." Then we decided we should probably be a bit more grateful. But driving his car would be a constant reminder of him (plus, the car forever has his stink it in. I loved the man, but he was hairy and stinky at times. Neither of which were my favorite quality about him)

My other BIL may take the car as it has a newly rebuilt engine and transmission and would be better than his car, but a decision has not been made yet. We shall see.

We will be camping this weekend, our first of the year. Gumby and I drove with the camper attached to the truck this weekend as a "refresher" for me. Plus Gumby set up and brought down the camper so I could make detailed notes. He will not be coming up until Saturday while the kids and I are going up Friday (he has his annual Brewer game with the guys and I couldn't have him miss it, that would be cruel).

So watch out for a 1975 Jayco pop-up careening down the highway next Friday, heh. I love that camper, it's just so freakin' cool. I'm thinking I may ask for Verlo gift cards for Christmas so I can have new mattresses made for that bad-boy. Just the two "beds" on the end. The other two beds are folding, so unless they do foam mattresses, that's a no-go.

I want to sit in my recliner right now, but there was a big-ass spider trying to get me (Gumby yelled at me as I shot out of the chair like the lunatic I am).

More swim class for the kids this week and week 2 of soccer class (it only meets once a week for most of the summer). We've pretty much been non-stop for the past 2 weekends and will be non-stop for the next 4, one week off, then 2 more weeks of planned stuff. Good grief. Summer is awesome, but our busy social season.

My BFF was here from Portland (I typed "home", but really, Portland is now her home with her husband). It was awesome to see her. She we able to come to my little sister's graduation and then we had a BBQ that night with her and other friends.

The next day we had another BBQ with family and friends for Little Man's 4th birthday.

The kids are awesome and continue to make me laugh every day.

Gumby was happy with his Father's Day haul (though was mildly disappointed to get a wallet first from me, heh. HEY, he needed one!)

But I still miss Patrick.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mr. Rogers was a genius

I had crazy love for Mr. Fred Rogers as a child. Nothing made me happier than watching Sesame Street and then my beloved Mr. Rogers. The land of make-believe always held such wonder for me, such great life-lessons.

When my sisters were young, they never really got into Mr. Rogers, which was very disappointing. He wasn't "cool" they'd tell me. How the hell did they know what was cool at that age?!?

I thought, *my* children will love Mr. Rogers. And we got to the point where they dug Sesame Street, but they would not want to watch Mr. Rogers. This caused me some heartache, but I decided that it was obviously my issue and tried to let it go.

And here we are. The magic age. Baby Girl is 5 and Little Man will be 4 tomorrow *gasp*. And holy crap, they are watching AND liking Mr. Rogers.

I think the issue is that so much kid TV is so colorful and has such spastic movement and Mr. Rogers is just mellow. (I remember that argument being used a few years ago about Sesame Street and the result being they "scheduled" each segment. I crabbed about it at the time, but now think I understand).

My surgery went well. Ran about an hour over because they discovered a hernia when they went in (explains why stomach crunches has actually hurt, heh). And my gallbladder was so impacted with stones, they actually had to extend the incision at my belly button because they couldn't get it out at first. That's a nasty looking incision. So if I suddenly lose an amazing amount of weight, I will still be restricted to the "tankini" swimsuit. I officially have too many scars on my belly to every allow for a true bikini.

I've been amazed at how much it hurt, I imagine something similar to a c-section (I love walking around, holding my belly because it hurts). I called the doctor today to ask for a less powerful pain pill. I still need something, but what they gave me makes me queezy and sleepy. Since today is my first day with the kids alone, not a good combination. Plus I'm tired to being queezy.

As I mentioned, tomorrow is Little Man's 4th birthday. I'm struggling with how to handle it. I want him to know it's his birthday, but I don't think he'll *get* why he has to wait for his party. Not fair to him, so I'm at a bit of a loss. Plus, my ass is just tired.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What the.....

*ring*

"Thanks for calling xyz, this is Kristen, how can I help you?"

"Hi. What 'cha doin'?"

"Um, working? It's crazy here, what's up?"

"Do you think you can come home?"

*WTF?*

"Errr, NO. Why?"

"Well, the water main broke in the basement and it's flooded and I kinda need some help."

OK, so one would think my husband could have been a tad more, shall we say, DIRECT in telling me this.

So I immediately left work, abandoning my co-workers with a floater pharmacist that had no clue what was going on.

Holy crap peeps. Our water main had not broke, rather failed and was SPRAYING water across our basement, thus, covering as much ground as possible.

Thankfully it went the opposite way of our main computer and all that good stuff. There were also a ton of pictures sitting by the computer that were saved.

Miracle of miracles, our wedding pictures were saved because Little Man's waterproof crib mattress had been thrown down there and it was blocking the pictures from the deluge of water. We almost lost ALL OF THEM.

Quite honestly we didn't lose a whole lot because most stuff is in rubbermaid totes, but there were a few things that weren't, but nothing of huge value. My biggest concern is my Rock Band drums, but hopefully they will be OK. Gumby lost some computer stuff, but as he put it, it was stuff that was nice to have on hand, but not anything we truly needed.

So I helped clean our basement for about 2 hours, our front yard littered with garbage. Our neighbor watched as people were checking out our loot and someone took off with the toddler bed and mattress within 20 minutes of it being on the curb.

On the upside, my basement is really clean. Now I'm trying to wade my way through all the laundry that got wet (we sort in laundry baskets, which of course, have holes, so the dirty laundry got wet).

I took the dog to Baby Girl's preschool for show and tell Tuesday. Of course as I told him to jump in the truck, he took off after a critter. I went into super-sonic shriek (my MIL just about died laughing). And there he was, grinning, then confused by my anger of him with the dead chipmunk in his mouth. He stunk of the chipmunk poo he squeezed out of the poor thing and had blood down his leg.

Great, just how I want to put you in the truck, dumb dog. But, alas, he was very good with all the kids and was such a charmer.

My surgery is quickly approaching, I have a few nerves about it, but it will be fine.

MIL's surgery is tomorrow, so more nerves about that and the results.

I've been a tad bitter the past few days over the fact that Patrick's killer still hasn't been charged. It's not fair that he's out, living his life. Makes me a tad pissy. hopefully that will all be resolved soon.

The driver that his my sister was uninsured, so it's just becoming more and more of a nightmare. I just got a call from my insurance company letting me know they are going after the woman personally. Good grief.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Five years ago today I became a mother. What a fucking ride. Baby Girl's pregnancy was difficult. The first 12 weeks spent praying that she's stay inside of me. I remember the fear of those weeks, the elation of finally getting to that magical 12 week mark.

I progressed rather uneventful in the pregnancy for the next 14 weeks. Then all hell broke loose. My blood pressure went through the roof, I started spilling protein and damn I was bloated. And not the normal-pregnancy bloated, but the my-liver-doesn't-like-this-baby type bloating. Alas, bedrest was my destiny for the next 12 weeks.

And you know, I love my OB, but several times a week, she'd snarl at me that I'd be lucky to make it to 30 weeks. To 32 weeks. To 33 weeks, and so on. That weighs heavy on your mind. First I was a failure to keep so many babies in my uterus at the beginning, now I was going to be a failure to keep one in for the full 40 weeks; I just couldn't do this pregnancy thing right!

And there we were. 38 weeks. And Baby Girl was HUGE for a 1st baby. They kept testing my blood sugars to make sure I wasn't diabetic. But I perplexed them because while she was thriving, I was losing weight. I was labeled pre-eclamptic.

One of the effects on a baby during preeclampsia is IUGR (intrauterine growth retardation or a small baby). My running joke was maybe Baby Girl WAS iugr, think how big she would have been otherwise.

I went in on Mothers Day evening to start my induction. Sleeping in the hospital sucks. I never really slept, they kept checking my blood pressure through the night and monitoring the baby. Gumby can sleep through a war, so he was fine.

Many hours of induction the next day, 2 failed epidurals and I had her. Delivery was fairly easy, but then she was floppy. And the Neonatologist was a douchebag. I wanted to get up and slap him, even with my OB sewing up her handiwork.

But there she was. A full head of hair. Beautiful. And OURS. We actually got to take her home. Some fool, somewhere was trusting US to be her parents.

And everyday she makes me laugh. She's such a girl. And so much wants to be "grown up" already at 5. Much too independent for my liking, but still my Baby Girl.

So happy birthday to her. Happy Mothers Day to me. I can't wait to see what our next adventure is.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I've been slacking

But it's never a dull moment around here.

MIL will have her lumpectomy on 5/15 to see if the cancer spread.

Every May Pampered Chef has their "Help Whip Cancer" campaign and sell pink items and a portion of those sales goes towards breast cancer research. I'm trying to find a time to have a party, I hope every will think about buying something to help support breast cancer research.

I had Parent/Teacher conference with Baby Girl's preschool teacher. Nothing but praise for her as "she's a blessing to have in class". Very ready for 5K. That's exciting.

Things progress with Patrick's affairs, slowly, but there is progression.

Little Man was moved into a big boy bed a few weeks ago. He loves it.

My sister borrowed my car over the weekend (she didn't have a ride home from work Friday and called, so I sent Gumby to pick her up and told him to just give her the car since she also worked Saturday. Heh.)

The accident wasn't her fault. The driver behind her wasn't paying attention and rear-ended her going at least 35 mph. She called, hysterical.

Thank God she was OK. I had to explain the car could be replaced, she could not be. My car was a total loss. And of course the driver at fault gave insurance information that was wrong, so now we suspect the car was uninsured. Lovely.

I feel awful for my sister though.

Other than that, I've got the Swing Flu (aka a cold for the dramatic). We are off to buy our new car this afternoon, another Maxima, just 2 years newer. Wooo.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Random Monday Thoughts

I'm on the mailing list for a nearby church. We've never attended services there, but it seems like such a wonderful community there, though a different faith. Of course, I personally think God doesn't care what flavor you pick, just do right.

Anyway. Today's email said they have a labyrinth walk. Which struck me as the last only time I saw a true labyrinth was on our honeymoon in Florida, nearly 9 years ago.

Gumby and I travel very oddly. We have days with set things to accomplish. We have other days that we have nothing planned and may just drive and see where the road/wind takes us. That particular day, I saw a grove of orange and grapefruit trees leading down a road. I told Gumby to drive down it, having never seen an orange tree up close and personal.

The road lead to a cemetery and mausoleum, but they also had the labyrinth. I had never seen a real one before and was interested. I read the "instructions".

And of course, forced Gumby to do it with me. I cleared my mind and we started to walk. What was interesting was the revelation that came to me. Gumby and I would pass each other as we walked, sometimes we were nearly on top of each other, other times we were on opposite sides of the labyrinth, but we were always on the same path, with the same end-goal.

And it was there I realized that both in our religious experiences and in our marriage, there will be times we will be completely in sync and others we are light years away, but our end-goal is always the same and we're on the same path. We just do it at our own pace. And that's OK.

That was a defining moment in my life. Such a grown-up through for someone pretending to be a grown-up.

Anyway, I'd be interested in experiencing the labyrinth, but almost wonder if it will be a letdown after my 1st experience. Of course, it helps that my first experience was outside, 80 degrees and sunny as all get-out, heh.

My MIL's cancer spread to her "clear" breast. There was a 3/4" *spot* with clear margins, but that's not good. Her cancer is a very aggressive, nasty kind. It has been lazy in her left breast, remaining in her milk ducts, which is good. But it must have gotten bored and moved to the right breast in a very short time (as the PET scan and mammogram had been clear 2 months earlier).

We will learn tomorrow the game plan. Obviously the lymph nodes on the right have to come out to see if the cancer spread there (thank God she had the double mastectomy right away). If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, well, it's going to be ugly. If it hadn't, I'm not sure what the game plan is, but probably not pleasant.

I'm trying to be there as much as possible while she heals from the 1st surgery. It allows my FIL to leave and do errands/get out of the house. Plus the kids entertain my MIL to no end, so that's a bonus.

I had an odd shopping day. I went to Sendik's to get produce and such. So much better than the crap at PNS and cheaper too. Sweet yellow peppers were on sale, so I got Baby Girl a pack, she'll be happy. Some beautiful strawberries and grapes. Yum.

But then I went to Sam's Club. I hate Sam's Club and Wal-Mart. Let's face it, we are mildly poor, so I shop there to save money on things like bottled water (and the french bread is so freakin' good and cheap). And it's a completely different experience than Sendik's, where everyone says hello to me and asks if I need help. I miss that service. Which is also why I shop at Sendiks.

I feel so bad for those that say Sendik's is so much more expensive. OK, yeah, if it's not on sale, it probably is a bit more on grocery staples. But I guarantee the produce is not only better, but it will be less expensive. Same thing for the meat.

Prime example. I always get the kids the Stonyfield Yogurt. I was excited when PNS started carrying it in most of the stores. $4.49 for a 8 pack of the squeeze-able stuff. $3.49 at Sendik's. I buy that crap like it's going out of style, totally worth it to go to Sendik's. I realized this about 6 months ago and haven't looked back. There's very little I go to PNS for anymore (or I go there if I'm doing late shopping, Sendik's closes at either 9 or 10 PM).

Well, I must dash to retrieve my children.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I think the snail got stepped on

Well, spring is still approaching at a snail's pace. Actually, I'm fairly certain the snail got stepped on, so now it's kinda stuck. It snowed last weekend and I think it's going to again this weekend. *sigh*

The kicker is that Little Man destroyed the zipper in his Land's End parka, so I took it in this week to get it repaired. Takes 6 weeks to get it back. Any why couldn't I have waited another few weeks? Thankfully I have a "spring" jacket from Land's End that is mostly warm enough.

I'm finding myself stuck in a bit of a rut. I'm back in the bad habit of staying up much too late, making it increasingly difficult to get up when I should. I find myself searching for answers that I know I won't find. I hope to find some shread of light, but mostly the answers are contained within a few select people. And unfortunately, at this point, they are not inclined to share a damn thing with me to protect themselves.

We should have a police report this week in regards to Patty's death. The reality of that is both a relief (to have answers) and a curse (to have those answers and know what happened).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring approaches...

At a snails pace. We keep getting glimpses of spring, a warm day, the robin's have returned. And we are expected to get 3-6 inches on Saturday.

ARGGGGG.

After we signed the kids up for the local Catholic elementary school, we got a notice that enrollment was low and they looked at the budget, these are the changes, are you still committed type of thing.

We struggled a bit with the decision, because we'd be spending a shit-ton-o-money, sending 2 off the bat. And part of the changes was a 10% tuition increase and they'd be cutting programs. Sounding frighteningly like public school....

But after much decision and a last minute pro/con list (because I'm a dork), we decided to stick with it. The kids loved it there and I was very impressed with the kindergarten teacher.

I get yesterday's mail and they are closing the school because only 62 students (37 families) had committed and they could not keep the school open with that level. Great, just great.

Where I struggle, is I want Little Man in a 5-day-a-week program next year. I want him to start getting used to it, so full-day school won't be such a shock to him the following year. Apparently, few schools in Waukesha County offer 4K, much less 5-day-a-week 4K.

The public schools don't even offer 4K. So we looked at the school in New Berlin, because the hope is to maybe buy a house in New Berlin next year (yeah, I know.....returning to NB...what are we thinking??? I'm going to lose any coolness I once possessed).

Well, they only offer 4K 3 days week. OK, I decided I could deal with that. But here's the kicker. School would start for Baby Girl at 7:45 AM for 5K. Little Man's 4K doesn't start until 8:30 AM. Are you kidding me??? 45 minutes later? That would not work and is a complete waste of gas.

Our only other viable options are sending Baby Girl to the local public school for this year and then sending Little Man to her preschool, but I'm not sure they have space (I have to ask, there are signs all over by the office indicated many classes are already full for the fall *sigh*).

Or there is another Catholic school in Wauwatosa, not *too* far from Gumby's work. I love their website, it had just a ton of information and it seems to be an extremely active school. I'd like to check them out, but Gumby is hesitant. So we're going to drive there this weekend and see how much farther is it from his work.

But all in all, this is really freakin' annoying. Stupid economy.

My MIL's surgery went well. She's very sore, but that is to be expected. There was no cancer in the nodes, so that's good news.

The plans for Disney continue.

Trying to move forward with Patrick's estate, but there are so many stumbling blocks right now. We still don't have a police report, which is pissing me off. I have a call and email into the probate attorney to get advice on how to proceed.

Time Warner can bite my frickin' arse. If they send one more bill for him, I swear, I will rip into some poor, unsuspecting soul that answers the phone. Idiots.

All in all, I'm pretty freakin' cranky right now. And the people that own the Chinese restaurant by the hospital must think I'm insane. The past 2 nights I've gone in and gotten nothing but egg drop soup for my MIL and FIL. But I'm sure these people are like, "Egg drop soup, that's it? Really?".

heh.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I feel like all I do is complain

Because, really, I do have an outstanding life, husband, children, family, etc. But man, can I catch a break?

Last Friday I was happily shopping at Sendiks with the kids, because I'm always in my happy place there. Then the phone rings. It's my MIL. Sweet, I can ask what groceries they need as my FIL had gotten pneumonia and the general plague (hopefully not from me, but what are ya gonna do?).

She explains my FIL now has a sinus infection on top of the pneumonia. And there was one itsy-bitsy problem.

She was having chest pain and needed to go to the hospital and my FIL couldn't take her because he'd infect and kill half the population. Great. Just frakin' great.

Off I go to drop the kids off at my folks and to take her to the hospital. I had to call into work (I'd picked up an extra shift since I missed so much after Pat's death).

Around 7:15 PM Gumby calls and says Little Man has an ear infection and is crying. Gives him ibuprofen. I call back 30 minutes later and am told, "He's still cranky, but he'll make it through the night."

Right. And I guess you'll be getting up with him in the middle of the night?

OK, that was bitchy, after all, last time Little Man woke up with the growing pains, Gumby handled it like a champ. But he was still awake. Once he's asleep, all bets are off.

I leave the MIL at the hospital (she was admitted to have a heart cath the next day) and off I go to get Little Man to take him to Urgent Care.

Get him there and he WILL. NOT. STOP. CRYING. My tough little guy that will fall down a flight of steps, get up and say, "I'm ok Mumma.", then run off, could not stop crying.

He finally falls asleep sitting up with me rubbing his head. They take one look in the ear he complained about and went, "Ew." Checked the other ear and it too was infected. Poor thing had a double ear infection. Lovely.

Saturday was good, spent most of the day at the hospital. Went out to dinner with Gumby that night and then the comedy club, which, I will say the comedians were OK, but it was nice to get out.

Sunday I worked, all was well.

Monday was the start of spring break. WOOOOO. I can sleep in! Til 7:30. *sigh*

Monday was my mistake. I ate something. I had a total Homer Simpson moment and ate something I should NOT have eaten. If you've never seen, "Selma's Choice" from the 4th season of the Simpson's, you've missed out on probably one of the funniest episodes ever that I decided to re-enact.

Sooooooooooo. I've been down and out since. Last night, I finally ate food, a sub from Cousins, which sat well and didn't hurt me. Score!

Today, I had my abdominal ultrasound. Turns out I have a rock band in my gallbladder and it must now die be removed. So yeah for not only having surgery, but hitting our deductible in the first quarter of the year! Wooo-hooo!

Now on to other topics to bitch about.

You know, nothing irritates me more than pseudo-rich people bitching about stuff they really have no right to bitch about. We send Emma to a Christian-preschool. It's not cheap, but it's not as bad as some places, so I don't complain. She's learned a lot there.

And I admit, we're probably one of the less affluential parents that use the school. Whatever. We chose to spend our money on education.

But I listen to these Mom's pick up their kids everyday and all they do is bitch about the school and how they don't like the lunch rules (because is it really so bad to have to pack something from the 4 food groups everyday?). As I was leaving yesterday, still feeling like shit, one of the Mom's looked at me and barked, "I am so fed up with this, I HAVE to find a new school for them."

Because, you know, uprooting them in April is the thing to do to a 3 and 4 year old. And then they stood in the hallway bitching this afternoon.

I'm sorry. Get over it. It's PRESCHOOL people. I've had very few complaints over the past 2 years that Em's been there. Like, you know, maybe 2? One major, one not so major. But good gravy.

But I see the same thing working at the Walgreens. I'm no dummy, I made a salary near equal to my husbands when I worked full-time, but we made this decision so I could go to school. Yet these people with "money" like to come in and try to intimidate me, thinking I must be a moron working a Walgreens. (a moron they trust with their life as I fill their prescriptions...bwuhahahahahaha).

No, I'm no moron. I found a part time job that paid a decent amount, that is flexible around my school schedule and my family life. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

I just don't understand people.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pneumonia can bite me

OK. I'm really over this. I'm presuming between the stress of Pat's death, the eulogy, etc and then 8-million sick people hugging me at the funeral, I got the plague.

My little sister celebrated her 18th birthday Tuesday. We went to dinner with my folks, sisters, boyfriends, etc. I wanted to die half-way through dinner.

Went back to my folks, sister opened gifts, cake/ice cream time. And I just wanted to be swallowed by the leather couch and spat out in a parallel universe.

We leave and have my father-in-law meet us at home (interestingly enough, Gumby was concerned enough that he called his Dad before we even left to have him leave for our house. See, he does take care of me!).

I was hoping to go to Urgent Care (less expensive), but WTF? All the UC's closed at 9 PM. I swear, the one downtown was open until 10 PM all summer. So after we couldn't find an UC, I decided the ER would have to suffice. Didn't want to drive downtown to go to my usual hospital, so went to the local one.

I must say, I need to pull my head out of my ass and just pick a doctor out here in the 'burbs. Driving downtown when you're already sick sucks. It's time.

Anyway. After several hours in the ER, I have pneumonia and they suspect I have a full-blown case of influenza. They do a test for it (which involves them shoving a q-tip up your nose until it touches your brain. It was so nasty and disturbing. I'd almost rather be in labor).

The rapid test came back negative for it, but it's a 50/50 shot on accuracy (really? how much did we just pay for a fucking 50/50 accuracy????). So they opt to send it for the long-term test and gave me a prescription for Tamiflu and an antibiotic for the pneumonia.

Off to Walgreens at 2 AM. Seventy-freakin-dollars for the Tamiflu. Holy hell. $10 for the antibiotic. Good gravy people.

But I feel better. I spent 2 days on my couch, drinking gatorade and taking drugs and they worked!

I'm still not 100%, but I was able to go to the hockey game last night with the family (which was quite violent, great game!).

Today, I've grocery shopped and got a new scratching post for Oscar.

But really, I'm sick of being sick now.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Today is a bad day

I obviously have not posted since Patty's death. So much has happened since then. Sadness. Happiness. Illness.

We still don't have many details from the accident. There are rumors abound stating the person that hit Patrick was a "drunk Marine". We have absolutely no confirmation of that and have no desire to perpetuate that rumor. If this person was stone-sober, imagine the hell he is living with, knowing his mistake took another life.

But that is exactly what I'm am struggling with as I sit on the couch this evening.

Some say Pat would want us to forgive the person that hit him. But at this moment in time, I feel nothing but complete sadness and bitterness. I don't want to forgive, in fact, I want to inflict great pain on this person. And it doesn't have to be physical pain, oh no, mental pain would be equally satisfying.

I want to show this person pictures of our family. Of our parents, who got a box from the coroner's office yesterday with Pat's belongings, that just sent them into another tailspin of grief.

Of his brother's that are now missing 1/3 of their brotherhood.

Of my children, that are now missing their uncle. For my son, that is now missing his Godfather.

Of me, missing my baby brother that I have protected for so many years.

Tonight I am grieving Patrick all over again, I'm not sure why.

The funeral went as well as could be expected. So many friends came to remember him, to honor him. It was amazing.

I held myself together during my eulogy until the very end when I read my father-in-laws letter to Patrick (damn it! mental note! always pre-read your speech!).

And I lost it during the military honors. I feel the need to clarify. I worry someone may have hear me say I hate military honors.

It is not because I don't feel they should be honored, blah, blah, blah. Quite the contrary. Military honors make the passing that more difficult for me, to know they selflessly served our country. I just sob every time.

Do you know how much I hate to cry in public? Especially sob?!? Because if I'm in public, then I have to do it quietly. And that shit hurts. I much prefer to breakdown in the comfort of my own home, thankyouverymuch.

I loved seeing so many of Pat's friends, I had so many conversations, my head was spinning.

But back to the issue at hand tonight. Tonight, I cannot forgive the driver.

God have mercy on him if he was drunk when it happened, because I certainly will not. Tonight, I hate him, like no one else before, and hopefully no one ever after.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

RIP Patrick Joseph Reed

Much too early this morning, Gumby woke me from a goofy sleep. I was pointing the completely wrong way on the bed, waiting for him to come to bed, for a completely different reason.

He pushed me to wake me and growled to come downstairs. I stumbled down the stairs, unable to understand what was going on.

there he sat in the recliner, with a look of such sadness, distraught. His beautiful eyes, completely devastated.

"I got a call from Mom."

I immediately thought something was wrong with his Dad, that the unthinkable had happened. Obviously it was not the unthinkable as I had just thought it, but I froze on the landing.

"Patrick died tonight."

"What?"

"Patrick died tonight, he was in an accident with his motorcycle XXXXXXXXX." (more words I didn't hear).

"WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?"

He repeated it again.

This truly was the unthinkable.

My Patrick. My dear, sweet Patrick. Annoying, infuriating Patrick. He drove me insane and made my heart swell with pride all in the same breath. The man, yes man, that was more responsible than most of the people my age that I know.

I knew he was in full motorcycle gear. I knew he was hyper-aware of his surroundings at all times. I knew there had to be nothing he could do.

I pulled John to the couch and cocooning myself around him and I sobbed. God bless him, in his pain, he let me have my moment.

To which I try to tend to him, but he's not having it. Not ready for that pain. He's a dude, I get it.
So I do what comes natural, I turn into a Tasmanian devil, throwing toys into the toy room, dishes in the dishwasher, you get the general picture.

I ask if he wants to go to his folks, which of course he does. I can't let him drive, so I call my folks at whatever un-Godly hour it was. Left a rambling message on the machine for my Dad to call back ASAP. He calls back and gets Gumby, who bluntly says, "My brother Patrick died, we need to go to my folks, can you come watch the kids?"

Bless my Dad, he hauls himself out rather quickly. Off we go. Fucking freezing last night and with the shock of it all, we were already shaking, so the cold did not help our cause.

We get to my in-laws in short order (OK, there was a minor incident where I made the truck go sideways in the subdivision on the slick snow...opps....I was a bit preoccupied. Then Gumby yelled at me for driving like a "granny". Nice.)

I'm glad we went, but it was awful. My in-laws were understandably in shock. We stayed for a few hours and hobbled home to relieve my Dad.

Patrick was an interesting person. He was a genius. And honest-to-God genius, with some ridiculous IQ. And he was a pain-in-the-ass. He loved to argue debate and had to be right. And he was a spaz as a teen.

But he was freakin' hilarious. Just when you would resign yourself that he had turned into a complete computer geek, he'd come out with something that I'd be laughing about for days.

And he had the world's biggest heart. His ability to love never ceased to amaze me. It was so pure and good. He loved who he loved and he did it with the same intensity he did everything else in life, which is more that most people can say about their lives.

He broke 3 promises to me. The most trivial being, he was going to go skydiving with me. We like to give my MIL some heart palpitations, keeps her young, heh. Unfortunately we never had that chance.

But he promised me he wouldn't die and wouldn't make me cry.

Because when he left for Iraq after he'd come home for a bit, I was beside myself when he left again. I just didn't want him back there. I wanted him home, where he'd be safe.

And he finally had enough of Iraq and was coming home. For at least a year and we could breathe easy. Because, he had survived all the bombing in Iraq, certainly he could handle a small desert town in California.

I want nothing more for my Patrick to be home with us. Giving my children looks that they are some alien force, but he was so patient with Baby Girl as she would talk his ear off and he smartly would interject a "uh-huh" or "wow" at the appropriate moment. They freaked him out at babies, but as they are older now, he interacted on a more comfortable level, knowing he could actually reason to some degree with them.

And then there's his Godson, Little Man. Little Man adored him and would just hang out, watching him playing video games. I have always been so completely pleased with our choice of Godparents. Each suits each child so well. But now Little Man has lost his Godfather. His uncle.

And I can't stop crying.

And I don't know how to tell my children and how to not scar them.

this fucking sucks monkey butt.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grammy Edition of my blog

I'm late.

But I've decided to give the lowdown on my take of the Grammy's.

Jennifer Hudson - Looks great (though I suspect some Spanx was being used..nothing wrong with that, but it's bad if you can see the line). Sang wonderfully.

Jonas Brothers - WTH? Are they the new NKOTB? And I'm trying to figure out if they are really playing guitar.

Craig Ferguson cracked me up, very inappropriate jokes. Katy Perry, I'm not so sure about. I like her songs, but I really find her to be not such a great performer live.

Kanye - Dude, I love you, but what's up with that hair? The 80's called...well, you know the rest.

I'm glad Adele won the Grammy for best new artist, but isn't there some "curse" that goes along with it? That worries me.

Morgan Freeman - Introducing Kenny? Wow. And they're "friends". Goes to show you that Morgan really is a freakin' hippie (nothing wrong with that). I'm loving Kenny as per normal. Continues to feed my bizarre love of all things musical.

Diddy couldn't dress up more? Seriously, you're a good looking man, but a frakin' suit on. Robert Plant and Allison Krause won, good for them. I really need to pick up that CD.

Dean Martin is dead, how the hell is he getting a lifetime achievement award???

GOOD GAWD. Holy preggers. Polka dots were NOT the best way to go. I like M.I.A., but dayum.

OHHHH...TI is looking mightly yummy (when doesn't he?). I do not understand the fascination with L'il Wayne. Jay-Z, always dapper.

Kate Beckinsdale, ohhhh, very yummy. (oh, and M.I.A. is due today, poor thing. I was wondering if she was going to drop that kid right there, ha.).

DAVE GROHL....excuse me while I wipe up the drool from the keyboard.

So my question is this....why wouldn't Sir Paul McCartney have Sir Ringo Starr up there with him? He's obviously the only other living Beatle. Not that I mind Dave drumming, but I just found it odd (of course I wasn't paying enough attention, so was that a tribute to the Beatles or just to Paul? If just Paul, then I get it).

OK, seriously, I like Nicole Kidman, but tone that lipstick down!

Kid Rock is Pop? Oh, I love Jason Mraz. When I met him, he was just so awesome. I hope he wins.

Damn, John Mayer won. I like the damn song, so I guess that's good. thankfully he's sticking with the shorter hair. But what's with that suit?

Jay Mohr, seriously, how did he land Nikki Cox? Knob.

Oh SugarLand! Love 'em. I'd love to see them live, but I'm pretty sure Gumby would spontaneously combust at a "country" concert. I blame my Grandparents for my love of country.

"Grandma, can we listen to xxxx?"

"No. Put the country station on or some Johnny Mathis."

Country it is...Thankfully Garth Brooks was HUGE when I was a teenager, so I've got crazy love for him.

Oh, Adele is on now. I love her voice, but I'm not sure about that dress (or the shoes, actually). Damn that girl can sing (of course so can Jennifer from Sugarland).

HA HA. Trace Adkins wife did NOT look pleased when the camera went to her. (you know for a gal that listens to a lot of "alternative" music, I know much too much about country, oh well).

Radiohead!!!!! With the marching band, how fucking cool is that! Note, I managed to keep swearing to a minimum until Radiohead came on! Fucking genius'.

Wow. I just had my ass blown out. Amazing. And I mildly teared up. I'm at a bit of a loss for words.

Fuck. Now I lost the remote. Fucking thing should have a locator on it.

Sam L. Baby! He is a badass Mo-Fo. Oh, JT and TI. Mmmmm...there's some damn good eye-candy. Isn't T.I. going to jail? Oh, felony possession of firearms. Seriously, why did he need to buy 3 machine guns and 2 silencers?

How did this yutz become president of the Recording Academy? What's his claim to fame?

OK, I'm cool with Ne Yo playing with the "Four Tops" but Jamie Foxx? He annoys me. 'Cause it's all about getting that ass with him. dude, give it a rest. We know you're on the prowl.

Awww, Jordin Sparks looks so cute!

So tired. I have school tomorrow. I may have to postphone the rest of my thoughts until tomorrow......

Christina is schilling for Target?!?

Neil Diamond, Sweet Caroline. 'nuff said.

OK, I stepped away to make the kid's lunches for tomorrow and Gumby laughed quite hard. Apparently during the dead people montage, the dude that wrote the original Batman song was on for all of 3 seconds.

OK, freakin' John Mayer can play, I give him that. Keith Urban, love 'em (back to that whole country thing *sigh*). BB King, could never tire of him.

Apparently John Mayer irritates Gumby as well.

I'm gonna cry, I wanna be done...

Robin Thicke. You know, I don't see how Alan Thicke is his father. Robin is just one freakin' cool cat.

Ok, so I was going to make fun of T Pain, but I have to make fun of myself instead. Here I was all giggling that the Grammy's did a 5-way split screen for the best rap album and I told Gumby that Lil Wayne would win, but I was hoping that either T.I. or Lupe Fiasco would win and when they read Lil Wayne, I was all, "TOLD YOU!". Like he was arguing with me.

I'm an idiot.

OK, I may miss a bit, had to rewind to Radiohead for Gumby. I feel his ass should also be blown out :)

Allison Krause and Robert Plant were awesome.

See, Diddy, take note from Green Day, they wore suits.

I'm rooting for Coldplay for album of the year, but Radiohead is my next choice....

But Robert Plant and Allison Krause get it. They are awesome together, but let's face facts, is that really what the "kids" are listening to. This would be why the Grammy's are criticized for not being "relevant". Whatever.

Hmpf. That was not how I wanted to end.

Shut up Robert, I love the music, stop rambling, you're getting played off.

Nice, they abandoned Stevie in the middle of the stage by himself. Ha.

Well, tune in next for the Oscar's!

Friday, February 6, 2009

'Bout time for updates

School has been back in session for 2 weeks now and holy crap is the intermediate algebra hard. Ding dang, I need to study more. Economics of the Black Community is cool, nothing real ground-breaking yet, but I suspect it will be a lot of fun this semester.

But a class at 8 AM on the UWM campus, when I live in Waukesha is a bit much. Try as I might I'm typically a bit late to class, which sucks, but I'm trying to be better.

Baby Girl is in gymnastics and loving it. I may put Little Man in basketball, but it's 2 nights a week and before Gumby gets home and I'd need someone to watch Baby Girl.

We're going out tonight and tomorrow night! Yowsers, two nights without kids. How about that.

My MIL is still deciding on a single mastectomy versus a double. Today she gets the results from the Geneticist to see if she has the cancer gene. If she does, it will be a double for sure. If not, she still has to decide. She's been out of the hospital for a week now from the other issues. I made them chicken noodle soup, chili and wild rice soup yesterday for freezing, so they will have good stuff on hand.

Next up is some shepherd's pie and a turkey/squash casserole.

The weather is warm today, giving a small taste of spring. I can't wait to not have to bundle the kids up in boots/hats/mittens/snowpants, etc. To just be able to leave when the time comes. Winter is exhausting.

I'm waiting for the new Park and Rec book to come out to sign them up for swim classes. I plan to have them in the water all summer long.

Oscar is getting along better with out Fred, but he still feels he has to be EVERYWHERE we are. And the little bastard really is Gumby's cat. Fucker.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shit-tacular week

Let's see, where to start.

We had to put our cat down. She had a tumor in her chin we didn't know about and by the time it presented itself, it was too late. We had the option to bring her home with pain medication until she couldn't eat anymore or to put her down.

No offense, the idea of waiting for her to stop eating just seemed rather morbid. I'd rather she be happy in kitty heaven than here with me in pain.

But here's the thing. I've had her for almost 13 years. I keep thinking I see her in the house. She was a constant presence and I really do miss her.

Telling Little Man was the hardest (well, no, holding her as she died was the hardest). He cried very hard and told me how he wanted her back and missed her and it just broke my fucking heart all over again.

I'm from the school of being upfront with them, obviously there are somethings we shield them from, but a pet dying is part of life and part of owning a pet. so there you go.

My MIL has breast cancer again. It's the same kind, in the same breast, so she will have a mastectomy this time. Fun, fucking times, let me tell you.

I struggled with that one as I've know it was a possibility since Monday (FIL had a moment of verbal diarrhea and told me) and my MIL asked me not to tell Gumby. I tell him most everything, but I respected her wishes.

Which for anyone that knows me, knows that's near-fucking-impossible. She got the biopsy results yesterday and I obviously didn't want to tell him before his Winter Ball (a work function) and afterwards was much too late to deal with such heaviness.

So today was a bit brutal for the family. Gumby ended up vomiting (I'm thinking the big 'ol t-bone steak did not help that cause). I'm still working on an upset stomach.

I watched the new episode of The Office tonight and almost died. Also watched last week's SNL with Neil Patrick Harris (who, was on Sesame Street this past week as the Shoe Fairy and I almost peed my pants).