Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turnaround

Bug and Andrew's parents, the greatest people in the world right now, gave us an early Christmas present: they hired movers to finish getting us into the new house.

Our minds are blown, tears were shed, and we are 97% done.  It's starting to feel like home - though according to V, it won't be home until the two furballs are in it.  Probably true.  What's life without some feline annoyances?

The twins were good today, too.  Their parents are throwing their annual holiday party this Saturday; I'm babysitting and V's bartending it.

Right now, we're at Bug and Andrew's parents.  We brought them dessert.  It's the very very least we can do.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stress

Tonight is our last night in this house.  I'm nowhere near as done packing as I need to be.  I'm fighting a headache, I'm emotionally exhausted, my stress level keeps spiking, and I'm mopey.

Let me check...  Nope, not done whining yet.  I'm tired of swallowing junk.  Inside my brain hurts.  I want to go to bed.  I need friends up here.  I'm fighting mental battles that I don't have the time or energy for right now.  I cried in the shower last night, harder than I have in a long time, and I feel like I could again now.  (The warm water would feel good.)

I'm not even sure if it's appropriate to post this.  It's more raw than I usually do; normally I can keep myself in check.  But V is in class, I can't text the friends I want to, and the house is silent.  Okay, world.  I'll be better tomorrow.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Flabbergasted

Apparently family isn't an evil entity.  Who knew?

I'm old enough to play with the big kids now, so when my aunt and uncles made their post-Thanksgiving dinner plans - going to a bonfire and getting drunk - V and I were invited.  When we left the bonfire, along with my 29 year old cousin we were staying with, we went back to his house and drank more.  And I (drunkenly) watched my (drunk) wife absolutely cream about four guys in Guitar Hero.

I've missed being drunk, with people I know.  But that's not what I'm supposed to be writing about, anyway.  My aunt, while sitting around the bonfire, went on a rant about how everyone should be throwing V and me a party, and she could barely keep her mouth shut, and it was utterly ridiculous that we were being asked to keep things quiet (by my mother).  She invited us to come stay with them at any point.  She said that obviously they owe us a present.

Not only were she and my uncle really excited for us, so were one set of grandparents and all my cousins.  It blew my mind, watching people I am biologically related to be jubilant over my spouse.  Is this what familial acceptance feels like?!  Now I know why it's so cool.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Obligatory

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

I can't think of anything profound to say, so truly, have a happy, joyous, relaxed holiday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Here

My grandfather told both V and I congratulations, quietly, so my small siblings wouldn't hear.  My aunt gave V, whom she was just meeting, a giant hug.  I showed my mom my ring, when the kids weren't around.

She told us that she appreciated our willingness to keep quiet to the kids about our marriage.

I'm still processing, still slightly annoyed, but currently floating on a cloud at the love-fest that just took place around us.  My ten year old sister wouldn't let me go.  And I'll see them all again tomorrow.  First, sleep, to recover from the drive and the day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Also

Also, according to my stats, the Russians are here.

Hi Russians!
Zdrasvitye.

Nerves

In about ten hours, I'll be seeing my mother for the first time in a year and a half.  Since the last time I saw her, I've gotten married, and our communication has dropped drastically.  My marriage isn't the only reason; she also moved across the country, switched time zones, and has a very busy life with four small chidren...but still.  I can't help but be nervous.

My oldest sister, who, at last check, adores me, is now ten and a half.  The last time I saw her was shortly before her ninth birthday.  She knows V as my good friend, and my mom and stepdad are determined to keep it that way.  I don't feel like I'm even going to know her.

My cousins, who will also be at this Thanksgiving shindig, know and support V and me.  My aunts and uncles know too, I think.  My grandparents don't.  My mom and stepdad do, but don't want anyone else to.

Feeling the nerves yet?  Life truly is a series of coming-outs.  We'll see who and how, for this round, over the next few days.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Work

I love my job because it doesn't feel like work.  Except sometimes it does.

Lunchtime, today.  Lilly goes into hysterics when I mention lunch, so I put her downstairs in the basement (there isn't a door, and it's not far) to scream where she couldn't bother Patrick and I.  He ate slowly, reluctantly; she came up for a few bites and ended up back in a tantrum and back downstairs.

Toward the end, he said his tummy hurt and he had to go potty.  Lilly had been quiet in the basement.  Patrick and I went upstairs; he sat on the potty, then projectile vomited all over the bathroom.

I cleaned him and the room up (and gagged some; usually I'm good with vomit, but sometimes not so much), took him back downstairs to watch tv, went down a few stairs to peek into the basement, and saw Lilly conked out on the couch, on her side, fingers in her mouth.

At that point, I metaphorically threw up my hands, and called their mom.

In the end, everyone ate, everyone watched tv, and everyone (thankfully) went down for naps at the proper time.  I'm just glad that after tomorrow, I'm off until next Monday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Freeing

Growing up, V and I were both told in our churches some variation on "there's a God-shaped hole inside your heart."  Youth groups warned us not to fill that hole with boys, or drugs, or even "holy" pursuits like academics.  Only God could perfectly fill up a person.

Last night, V commented that there is in fact a hole inside people.  It's called adolescence.  It's not God-shaped; it's not any shaped.  It's just a part of life - I'm not even sure it's a hole.  Teenage years can suck.  God may help, or may not.

It's taken me more time than I'd like, but I finally feel free of the "God-shaped hole" myth.  I finally feel free of the God myth, for lack of better terminology.  Not that I don't believe there is a God - in some form, somewhere, in some level of involvement with humanity.  It's just that, for the first time in my life, I feel totally comfortable not giving a rat's behind about any of it.

One of the other common church stories is the idea of coming to Jesus, being saved, and having a burden lifted off that you didn't even realize was there.  Well I'm here tonight to bring you the message that the exact opposite action will give you the same result.  I have rarely felt so free, so relaxed (in this regard), as in the past few months.

I am, at long last, comfortably areligious.  Comfortably letting all rats keep their rear ends when it comes to religion.  I don't have to think about getting up on Sunday morning, every week.  I don't have to think about whether my actions hurt or please anyone other than myself and my fellow humans.  And amazingly, I don't have to think about guilt.  It's finally disappeared.

I love it.  I've caught myself lately just pausing, taking a deep breath, and feeling the lack of stress and guilt and worry and expectations.  It's downright freeing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Classroom

V and I took the twins over to her university's Montessori classroom tonight, and she taught them some lessons.  It was fascinating to watch them watch her, then engross themselves in copying her.  I really think both would thrive in a real classroom.

They're both getting better, too, thankfully.  Lilly kept her dinner down; I'm not sure she's kept a meal down for two days.  And I'm done wiping noses!

We leave for our Thanksgiving trip on Tuesday.  We move on Saturday.  Oh boy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Empathy

Lilly was pushing my empathy button today.  I don't think there's anything sadder than a tiny three-year-old begging to go to sleep.  Unfortunately, she needed to get some food in her first; lunch was a disaster that she ended up throwing up, but I tried.

They're not super sick, but definitely stuffy and sneezy and coughing.  For Lilly, that means lots of phlegm that triggers her, and she's already sensitive to throwing up.  Four times between breakfast and lunch.  Patrick even threw up once.

In better news, we signed the lease on our new place tonight!  Treated ourselves to (cheap) dinner to celebrate, and we're moving in a week and a half.  I'm really hoping I don't get what the twins have, as I've been fighting a headache all day.  Now to figure out how to pack.  I really think this was easier last time...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Drained

I'm drained.  I'm texting people things I won't remember or relate to tomorrow, not because I'm drunk, but because I'm depleted.  I've cried.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  Well, yes, I do.  I'm overloaded, and panicking because I'm about to go into a situation with my two least favorite qualities: the unknown, and me not being in control.

I'm terrified.  Does my rational side think (know) we'll be happy in this house?  Yes.  Obviously.  Does that stop me from freaking out about the move, the money, the everything?  Not at all.  Is the timing horrible?  Yep.

V and I are staying with my cousin when we go visit my mom's side of the family over Thanksgiving.  A simple email from him, "Does Granny know you're married?" ended with me in tears and praying I hadn't just spilled my soul in the message I typed out.  Quick check - I didn't.  Just gave him the rundown of the drama: who knows what, who doesn't, who does but doesn't want anyone else to.  Check, check, check.

And we return next Friday, and move on Saturday.
And I think I know where the money's coming from, but I'm not sure where it puts us for traveling and Christmas and all those end-of-year expenses.

Florence + the Machine on Pandora.  I'm going to go through a pile of papers that's been on the floor for months.  Hopefully that will consume my mind.  (My racing mind at night, and consequent lack of sleep, is another stress.)

I'll try to be better soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Too much

V and I have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew.  Life will be nice and calm, and then, all of a sudden, it explodes, and we're in over our heads.  Here we are, just over a week away from Thanksgiving, about to dive into The Holidays.  She is in training for one of her new part-time jobs, and I'm trying to get paperwork together for the other one.  The end of her first semester of grad school is fast approaching.  We did a photoshoot last weekend, it needs to be edited at some point, and both the facebook page and website need updating.

Oh, and we're moving in a week and a half.  In all likelihood.  Just a few streets over, into a house (not an apartment!), and we're excited, but...

Can I sleep till December 1st, and wake up to everything being normal and quiet again?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quote

Nannying gives me the opportunity to say the greatest sentences.  Tonight's example:
"I don't think Andrew wants to be pink turtle boy, Bug."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Microwave

I don't often write about the ins and outs of daily life, but sometimes, ideas just have to come out through my fingers.  I just finished making popcorn; V is on the couch next to me, reading her homework.

We don't have a microwave.  This isn't because we believe the scary radiation will kill us all, but mostly because the one we had was crap, and it was taking up valuable counter space.  Between our stove and toaster oven, we figured we were set.

It hasn't been too much trouble.  Frozen chicken nuggets take longer to cook.  The two biggest inconveniences have been popcorn and warm cider or juice.  My mom taught me how to make popcorn, from kernels, when I was little, so I know how to do it: it's just a lot more involved than popping an envelope in the microwave and listening.

While I was making this batch just now, I was actually thinking how soothing it is.  Our kitchen light is burnt out, so we have just a little lamp; the low light was relaxing.  I had a pot holder in each hand, periodically shaking the big ceramic pot that came from my mother years after the popcorn-making lesson did.

There's a lot lately about slow food, about slowing down life, about being involved with the little things that go into eating and living.  It's one of the things that's nice about not having a microwave.  Some days, I don't end up drinking warm apple cider that sounds so enjoyable, because I don't feel like making it.  But more often than not, the longer this continues, I find myself calming down: standing at the stove, idly stirring a spoon around the dark amber liquid, waiting for it to be the perfect temperature.

It forces me to pause.  It forces me to think, just for a few minutes, of the way things come to be.  The way corn kernels turn into white pieces of fluff in my mouth.  The way soup slowly starts to bubble in a pot.  The way I come to be standing there, taking a breath, while I wait.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Proud

Today, Patrick and Lilly had their first gymnastics class in an "independent threes" class - which means I get to watch them from the waiting area.  They were excited about their special class without me, and they did great.  It's the first time they've ever done anything without me or their parents; I was nervous, but they went right in, and listened to their teacher brilliantly.

I'm so proud of them.  They've really grown up in the past month or so.  Now if only they'll stop pooping in their underwear.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Excuse me

While I go kick something.  Or smack.  Or otherwise vent my rage and anger.

I ignored a call from my grandmother, my stepmom's mom, earlier today.  I haven't talked to her in months.  This is mostly due to the fact that she's a self-centered psycho.  When I was younger, she spoiled me rotten (I'm the only granddaughter), but as I've gotten older, she does so less (thankfully), and I dislike her more.

The voicemail, which was asking my bra size to see if she should buy me something, began thus:
"I haven't talked to you since before you were married. I didn't know you got married; congratulations. Had I know, I would have come, even if you didn't want me there."

Guess who I'm not calling back?  Ugh!  Biological family can be such a pain in the rear.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It continues

V was with us at the playground, and I asked her to see if Lilly was still chewing.

V: Lilly, is there food in your mouth?
Lilly: Or something.

Headdesk.

Pottyless and employed

Pottyless: Last week, I took Patrick and Lilly to the one playground I could think of that had a bathroom.  I'd been avoiding outdoor activities while potty training, since bathrooms aren't super common (not counting trees).  Well, guess what was closed for the season?  Patrick never had to go, or never told me he did; Lilly said she needed to pee, and I told her we'd have to go behind a tree in the grass.  She did great - and was excited to tell Daddy later.  Thankfully his response was "sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do."  Of course, today, while I getting us ready to go to a different playground, I put the little potty in the car, and Lilly says, "But there's grass we can pee on and trees."  It should be noted that she used the little potty, though.

Emplyed: Not me, but V.  She's been doing odd jobs for awhile, and didn't want to nanny - or rather, go through the ordeal of meeting a new family - again.  As of now, it looks like she has two part-time gigs that further everything she wants to do.  She hopefully soon will be starting newborn photography in hospitals (and not the ugly kind), and also will be teaching dance classes to preschoolers.  How much more perfect could it be?

Today, Patrick and Lilly and I met up with Kali and her sisters (and of course their mom), and another family whom I knew.  The five three and four year olds ran around having such a blast, following each other down slides, giggling up a storm, and jumping together on the bouncy bridge.  It's an unseasonably warm day, and it was just a beautiful, relaxing, enjoyable morning and afternoon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Or something

Kids pick up on the linguistic quirks of people they spend time with.  This is known.  This also means they are good at pointing out quirks that said people may or may not be aware of.

Lately, Lilly has taken to adding "or something" to the end of her sentences.
"What's that person doing?  Maybe eating lunch or something?"
"Can I go upstairs and play with my dollies or something?"
"My train is broken or something."

I figured she'd picked this up from me.  It's my way of saying that I don't know exactly what the future holds, but I can hazard a guess.  We drove by my house on our way home from the aquarium today, and the kids asked if V was there, and then what she was doing.  My reply?  "Probably homework for her school, or something."

Oops.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Date

Dates should happen more often, for V and I.  We both feel so good.  And I actually bother to put on mascara.

Now we're sitting at home, eating frozen eclairs, drinking apple cider, and lazing on the internet, because it's Friday night and we don't have to get up early tomorrow.

Nothing new to report, other than that I'm still limping (sometimes dramatically) and throwing myself occasional pity parties.  Eclairs help.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

48 hours

The past 48 hours have been a roller coaster.  Yesterday was a great day, with V receiving hopeful job possibilities, us finding out our wedding pictures are going to be somewhere else (seriously, they crop up all over the internet!), and me taking a glorious scooter ride.

Today, on the other hand, was not so good.  I watched Bug and Andrew tonight; Bug hadn't napped, and was just plain mean to her brother.  Stepping on his fingers, running her bike into him, "accidentally" trying to stab him with her fork, psycho.  And just before I went over there, I had a scooter spill.  V and I went to the scooter store so she could practice more, and we both wanted to try two people on it.  I was driving, and got too cocky.  We ran into a concrete block and then a chain link fence.  Broke the top part of the scooter (which thankfully he could replace immediately), and seriously messed up my left knee.  Nothing else wrong - but I still sat in the parking lot and cried.

So, not so thrilled with things at the moment.  My knee is throbbing.  I'm not a fan of children.  It's going to rain tomorrow.

But, 48 hours from now, I'll be seeing Wicked with my love.  That's a good start.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November!

The weather is beautiful, I took a joyride on the scooter, I'm eating frozen corn, and life is going well.

Yesterday I had two angelic twins; today I had two devilish ones.  Well, not so much devilish as whiny.  No accidents, though, in the past two days.  Poop still happens in the underwear a lot.  I'm okay with that.

V is looking into a few job opportunities.  She's tired of nannying, but doesn't want retail or restaurant (obviously).  Photography is going well, but isn't nearly to the point that it can be her sole occupation.  But there are promising leads, which I will be secretive about unless something pans out.

Other than that, not much is new!  Saturday was a photoshoot and Halloween party; Sunday was a mini photoshoot and babysitting.  Nothing too out of the ordinary planned for the near future.

And so, thus ends a mostly boring update.