Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ennui

So, there's been some good things going on ... and some not-as-nice things (but those are really outweighed by the good) ... so why do I feel kinda crappy?

Let's do a quick recap of everything I've not blogged about for the last 9 days:
  • Bruise finished all the stuff to earn his first (Gold) Arrow Point badge.
  • Michael's Friday, which is usually his short workday (4 hours), was a lot longer (about 12 hours).
    He was the only engineer in the office, since his boss is on vacation (GETS BACK MONDAY. PHEW) and there's been a lot of projects coming due and some crazy stuff going on. Nothing that he can't handle ... but it'd help if he had fewer people coming to him with questions on how to do their work. ... Heck, I'm ready to tell him to just set an hour for people to question him. This way he can get work done, uninterrupted, for the rest of the day. ;P
  • But, yeah, he got home about his usual Mon-Thurs time ... after getting into work early. He was pretty burnt out. ... And, well, I was getting there, too.
  • I missed a RS activity (unofficial) ... which I meant to go to. I just plum forgot about it after getting the kids in bed. Whoops.
  • Saturday, Michael went to help clean up the area for the Cub Scout's Day Camp. My friend, S, came over to sell me her cello (we had agreed that I'd buy it so she wouldn't have to ship it across the country ... and Bruise is looking to start playing it). Michael came home and we treated him for poison oak (just in case. Looks like we got it in time! Phew!). I also went over to the house of a gal that I used to Visit Teach. She's not attending church ... and we'd only ever talked on the phone or on Facebook. But she was throwing an Arbonne party ... and I was one of the only people that made it. (Her best friend, C, and C's sister-in-law [the Arbonne gal] were the other people there).
    It was really fun. It was great to meet A (my past Visiting Teachee) in person.
  • We're working on getting the house cleaned up ... it's always a seemingly-losing battle. But I was caught up on laundry for a little. And almost caught up on dishes ... which ended this weekend. And I'm ALMOST caught up again. 
  • I also took Bruise and Bucket to the library (because that was part of another arrow point requirement). We got a huge bag of books. And we ran into one of our neighbors at the Dollar Store. That was nice. She's one of the sweetest gals ever.
  • Sunday was church ... like usual. Bruise was assigned a scripture for Primary. He didn't ask us to be there for it. So we just did our own classes. Michael took a friend home and I saved him a seat in Sunday School (I'm still bitter that I missed the lesson on Balaam's Talking Ass. *sigh*). In Relief Society, one gal who was in town visiting (she and her husband used to be in our ward, but have since moved out to the coast) sat by me and we visited a bit.
    And I should feel more guilty for visiting during a lesson ... but, well, I don't pay attention very well when the teacher who was teaching does the lesson. I know. I'm a horrible person.
  • We did macaroni and cheese (with added cheese and bacon) (and Sriracha for the grownups) for lunch. And breakfast for dinner: bacon, pancakes, and fried eggs (but no eggs for Michael). Bucket learned that she DOES like fried eggs, after all. And Bubbles got syrup all over. *sigh*
  • Monday was a day full of whining. Mostly the kids. Also me.
    After cooking all the meals during the weekend, I was a bit burned out.
    Michael got doughnuts for breakfast. After we cleaned up the house a little, we went to the park while the weather was nice (it was scheduled to rain at some point).
    At the park, Bubbles and I fed the ducks while Bruise and Bucket played catch with Michael. Then Bucket got bored of that, so she and Bubbles played on the play equipment (Bubbles is rather braver about ladders than Bucket was at that age. But Bubbles does NOT like the bridge. It's apparently too bouncy. And Bubbles likes the swing, but only if she's sitting on her bottom).
    All was well UNTIL Bruise missed a catch, so he got a bloody nose. While Michael ran for tissues (my regular purse was in the car, so I didn't have tissues or wipes on me), Bubbles (under Bucket's watch) decided to push the tire swing ... and, since she's only two and hasn't mastered the concept of inertia, got smacked in the mouth with the swing on its return ... so there was blood THERE.
    "And THIS is why I don't leave the house," I stated.
    So, yeah, Michael had the whining from ME, too.
  • Later, we went shopping and picked up some plants and plant boxes and soil and bird feeders and bird food for some more Arrow Point Requirements.
    And, while at Home Depot, I just about broke down in tears because I don't have much luck with plants ... and I hate wasting money ... and what if they all die?
    But, oh well.
    So, we have a couple English lavender plants for the start of a flower bed. We have a couple container boxes. One has a tomato and a basil plant in it. The other (with room for something else) has lemon balm and chocolate mint. My pansies, in their hanging basket, are doing better.
    I got a new (not broken) bird feeder for the back. And I have a new hummingbird feeder (which does NOT leak) hung in the front. Now to actually cut back stuff in the yard so it looks nice. And maybe we'll tear up some stuff and add some grass? We'll see.
  • Yesterday, I cleaned up the house a bit. And I tried to get some VTing done. It ended up getting done via phone. But my house was cleaner, in case people (my VT companion and the gal we VT) came over. And I finally got out and learned to use the popcorn maker I got for my birthday.
  • My stepdad's not been doing great ... apparently, he's been taking too much of one medicine. And that makes him really loopy and kind of belligerent. Last month, he fell down ... and when my mom tried to get him to his bed, she put out her back. Last week, he fell down. She didn't try to pick him up, but she held the cane for him to get himself up (this was AFTER she fed him a dinner and dessert before he took an Ambien ... and then GOT BACK UP because he wanted an ice cream sundae ... which, since he was so loopy by this time, he got all over himself and the couch). And, he agreed with Mom Sunday morning that he'd sleep it off while she was at church.
    When she got back, he had apparently gotten up shortly after she left to water the garden and feed the animals and fell onto the fence. A neighbor helped up him and into the house and waited with him for Mom to come home ... at least 35 minutes (she was only gone for maybe 90 minutes, since she left church directly after Sacrament meeting).
    Good thing he had a doctor's appointment yesterday. Mom told the doctor what all is going on. Which, of course, my stepdad isn't happy about. And the doctor said that he's been taking too many of one kind of pill. So, hopefully, this will stop.
  • I feel guilty that we haven't been able to make it down to visit family.
    My Nana's dementia is, apparently, getting worse. And I really wish that I were closer so that I could spend more time with her. But we've been so busy lately ... 
  • I was kvetching last week (Wednesday) to Mom about how it's sad that we don't have family stories and pictures and everything on FamilySearch, since there's lots of people who do. We barely have any pictures from her side of the family at all ... and it's sad to not know what people looked like and all.
    I had taken some family names to the temple earlier this month. And that's good ... but, well, it's not a lot of names or anything. And I feel like I should be doing so much more.
    So, somehow, I did a search and found that my great uncle (my Grampy's half-brother) has done a lot of work on FindaGrave.com ... A lot of family history (little life vignettes, pictures, lists of family members ...) so, I spent most of Thursday doing that.
    And then, though I was very happy to have been able to supplement my pedigree chart/family group sheets that much, I was still a bit bummed, since it was only ONE branch of Mom's line. And we've had such a terrible time trying to research HER mom's line (one of her great-grandfathers, according to what we've been told, ran away from home and rode the train across the country before he could read/write ... so the family name may have been changed. At least, Mom's grandfather changed the spelling of his own last name ... THEN, there's her other great-grandmother ... who was, let's just say, a great storyteller. Made some interesting claims. Good times.) ... BUT yesterday, I had a bit of a breakthrough. Her great-grandfather, Bert, is apparently a ROBERT ... which explains why we had such a time finding him before. But, now that I have him, I was able to find his mother's line (no idea about his DAD, though. And I MAY have found my mom's great-grands on the OTHER side (her mother's mother's side).
So, yes, I've been getting some things done.

And I'm back in touch a bit with one of my friends that moved out of state.
I don't know that we'll ever be as close as we used to be ... but, well, I just want her to know that she's loved. And that I miss her.

In other good news, Mom's and my order from The Body Shop arrived on Thursday. So, when I put on some body butter, I smell amazing. (I got Peach, Raspberry, Rose, Passionfruit, and Honey. And more monoi oil and some bath milk (with frangipani) ... and a bath pillow and nail brush.

I did the elliptical for a whole FIVE MINUTES yesterday. I know, it's really dumb. I should just put on Sweating to the Oldies or something. (Hey, I LIKE Richard Simmons. I think that he is quite sweet. With a wicked sense of humor.)

Well, I should go water the plants. And get the laundry going again. And do more dishes. And read library books. And toilet-train Bubbles. And play with Freyja-cat until she's panting-exhausted. And start dinner, since I have a pork shoulder that needs to be used...

And exercise and get a shower and go buy cat litter and do another million little things that should be done.

Like read my scriptures and chat with the other sisters that I Visit Teach, so they know they're loved.

When all I really want to do is maybe crawl into bed and not come out.

I think that I've not been sleeping well.
And I should drink more water.
And eat breakfast ... and make a good lunch.

And clean out the fridges.
And definitely the kitchen freezer.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Good news:

  • Still no signs of eggs or lice in Bucket's hair.
  • Bruise has done enough work so that he'll get his Wolf badge at the next pack meeting ... along with his (gold) arrow point.
  • Bubbles is talking a bit more.
Less-than-great news:
  • I noticed more grey hairs. So I colored my hair again. Just brown.
    No one at church noticed, so I think I chose pretty well.
  • Even when I clean the house, it just gets dirty within a couple hours.
  • I had to leave my kids' room ... because trying to get them to clean up enough so I can vacuum is TOO DANG STRESSFUL.
    Let alone how my daughter ASSURED me that she'd sorted out all the clothes that smelled like cat pee (since they left a pile of inviting clothes on their floor ... and what happens when you do that in this house? GUESS WHAT? THE CAT WILL PEE ON THEM!) ... and I was going to hang up the clothes that were deemed clean?
    ABOUT HALF (most of them, really) still REEKED of cat piss.

    I'm never going to get caught up with the laundry.
    EVER.
Besides that, it was a busy weekend.

Friday, Michael and I went to the temple (Youth baptismal trip -- baptisms by proxy for the dead. And the people we do the work for have the opportunity to accept or reject it. It's not like they HAVE to be LDS just because we did the work. If they don't want to be, it's still cool.).
I brought some family names (My great-grandparents -- Nana's folks. And her brother. And some great-grandparents on my mom's side). So I felt a bit useful/accomplished.

Until you notice that another guy from our ward has HUNDREDS of family names. *sigh*
Then I feel slightly less accomplished.
But, hey, at least my great grand-parents (and great uncle) have this opportunity. Finally.
I mean, it's taken me long enough.

The kids spent the night at their grandfolks.
Michael spent most of Saturday fixing up the trailer we're buying from his brother. (We need to give C the money. He needs to help Michael rewire the lights.)
The kids had fun at the Kids' Mall Club. They all got their faces painted. Even Bubbles.
I took Bubbles to a birthday party for a couple of her friends in Nursery (the church group for the 18-month old to 3-year-olds). She had a good time ... and was tired enough that she slept from about 5PM until Sunday morning.

I've been working on finishing my library books (after being hit with over $6 in fines. *sigh* At least it was less than $10 this time, right? *headdesk*).

I'm just constantly tired and irritable ... or so it feels. I just want my stupid house to be clean and organized. I just want to suddenly find myself about 100 pounds lighter and in shape. I just want to be semi-fluent in Spanish and to understand WHY the grammar works the way it does (Rosetta Stone only goes so far).

And while I'm at it, how's about I suddenly have the great habits of daily scripture STUDY and individual prayer, praying over meals, flossing, weight lifting and cardio, prepping freezer meals, ... that sort of thing. How's about that?

Ugh, whatever.
I've suddenly turned into a total downer.

But, by hook or by crook, the kids' room is getting vacuumed TODAY. That's freaking IT.

And then maybe I'll go cry in the shower or something.

And then I'll finish throwing myself a pity party and do something useful for once.

Confliction ...

So, the Supreme Court has overturned the same-sex marriage ban in Oregon.

And I don't really know how to feel.

Personally, I am for civil unions with full legal rights for same-sex couples.
I don't think that they should be denied "rights" ... but I don't hold for calling it marriage.

I know that it's been revealed through multiple prophets that supporting same-sex marriage isn't good. That there are consequences. And it's in Satan's best interests to weaken families.

At the same point, I think that the world is sorely lacking in love. If it were up to me, no revelations given, I'd have that Queen Victoria quote as my motto ... you know, the one about "as long as they don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses."

(Of course, I don't think ANYONE should be naked/rutting in the streets. It's not polite.)

I am a little worried, though, about what this is going to do in regards to the separation of state vs. families.
If marriage becomes just some legal arrangement, we've removed a powerful barrier ... the government will have more power over individuals. (And that worries me, seeing as what's happened with a friend falsely accused of improper behavior. He wasn't allowed to be around his own children for MONTHS. It was horribly stressful for his family. ... And, at the end of it, Social Services never apologized for going overboard when there was no reason to in the first place. ... And his isn't the only story that I know of.)

So ... I am trepidatious.

I also have to agree with what a friend posted on facebook (for the record, she does support same-sex marriage) ... She pointed out that the majority of people have voted on multiple occasions AGAINST this. And the law that the people have supported has been overturned.
What if, she posited, the people voted FOR same-sex marriage over and over again. And the government overturned it. Would there be the same reaction?

I think there should be something for same-sex couples.
But, at the same time, we need to protect families.
Studies have shown, over and over, through decades of studies, that children benefit most in a loving home with a father and a mother. They need both. (I'm not saying that having two loving moms/dads would be worse than being raised in a home with antagonistic parents of different genders. That's silly.)
It seems that something, some compromise needs to be made.

And I just don't know what that is.

But it sets me on edge that I don't know.

But ... I just worry that we've set a slippery precedent that could allow our government (which, frankly, I don't feel that confident in. They can't even make/keep a stinking BUDGET. They argue over everything. They pass laws without even READING them ... What DO we pay them for??) more power over the people. And I can't support THAT.

If you are homosexual, please know that I don't hate you.
In fact, if you need a hug/would like a hug, I'm more than willing to give you one. 
I might not get your desires (just like I'm sure that you don't totally get why I've always been into guys), but I do get that it can be lonely when people don't always understand you.
Know that Heavenly Father loves you. And I do, too.
(In fact, ALL followers of Christ should be showing you nothing but love and compassion. But we, being mortal and fallible, aren't perfect. Please be patient with us as we learn to be more like our Lord, who showed us a perfect example of loving everyone, no matter what their sins. He even loves me ... and I'm continuously a screw-up.)

But, yeah. I can't be totally happy ... because I don't trust our government, really.

I hate being an adult. Politics make me feel jaded.

Guess I better turn in my ballot, huh? Just so that I feel like maybe I can try to make the world a better place. Or something.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

In the clear ...

So, checking Bucket's head every day (sometimes twice!) and it's all clean. Phew.
No eggs, no creepy-crawlies, nothing.
Thank goodness!

(She's still going to get another treatment Tuesday. Just to be safe. ... And I realized that every time there's lice, it costs us around $40, since you end up using two kits-worth of shampoo. Can't they just sell the things separately? She's got a lot of hair. And we don't use all the gel ... and we've only ever gone through ONE can (of THREE+) of the bedding/whatever spray.)

But, hey, it's good.

So, there was a shooting (homicide) not too far away earlier this week.
I was able to put some things together to figure that out, since we don't get the newspaper or watch much TV.
  • One of the gals I Visit Teach posted on Facebook that the police came to her family's apartment early in the morning to tell them that a crime had been committed in their apartment complex. He couldn't tell them WHAT, exactly, but they needed to be aware.
  • The newspaper's Facebook account had a couple of stories ... one was a shooting.
  • On driving Bucket to an activity, I saw a news crew van -- along with a search team (it made me think back to searching through Avery Park when Brooke Wilberger had disappeared [she had been kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered ... her body wasn't at the park, but the park was close to where she'd been taken from. Sad, sad situation. It was a repeat offense by the perpetrator, too.]).
  • People on Facebook were posting things about an 8-year-old boy who called the cops after finding his mother on the kitchen floor, bleeding ... she didn't make it.
I haven't talked to the kids about it ... but, that boy could be a classmate. Poor kid.
Since, last I knew, the police haven't found any suspects, they don't know a motive.
And I'm locking the doors a little more.

On to good news, my mom came up yesterday.
It'd been a couple weeks since we'd seen her, since she had hurt her back.

And her Mother's Day gifts all came in the mail (two shipments. Why do they do that?) ... but I got her a nice Tuberose perfume, body wash, and hand creme. Since Bath and Body Works stopped selling their Velvet Tuberose fragrance (so sad) and that was her absolute favorite. I really hope that Target keeps making the Sonia Kushik Pink Innocencia for a while. ^_^

We went out to lunch at a tea shop downtown. Bubbles was very well-behaved. (I should have taken video of her sipping cocoa out of a wee little tea cup!) Then we went to Fred Meyer and picked up berries (and I helped mom get some make-up. Apparently, all my time spent on the internet does pay off! SCORE!).
We made it home before the kids got home (and they ate all the lunch leftovers :( Oh well.).

Our lunch, by the by, was REALLY GOOD. Bubbles had the Mad Hatter Tea -- Little grilled cheese and PB&J sandwiches with three little treats and either tea or cocoa (we opted for hot cocoa, since if I'm getting a mug out of the cupboard and she spies me, she'll exclaim "COCOA!!! COCOA!!!!").
Mom and I opted for the Queen's Tea -- soup or salad for starters and a tray of sandwiches (egg salad, chicken salad, and cucumber with cream cheese), scones (this time: raspberry, orange, and white chocolate chip) with spreads (lemon curd, cream, and raspberry preserves), and desserts -- like Bubbles, we had a tiny key lime cake, a small bunt cake with chocolate creme filling, and a small raspberry crumble bar cookie.
We opted for the Lavender Sunset tea, which was really good. (I bought a couple ounces ... along with the Blue Eyes herbal blend that Bucket and I had together a couple months ago ... and she liked it so much that she REALLY wanted Bruise to try it, too [He likes my teas a little more than his twin. He still prefers cocoa or hot apple cider.)

I have tried almost ALL the herbal and Rooibos teas at the shop now. Just a few more to go!

I've also tried all the Dry Soda flavors available at our local Safeway store. They have four (Vanilla Bean, Blood Orange, Lavender, and Cucumber) of the ELEVEN (Juniper Berry, Ginger, Rhubarb, Apple, Pear, Cherry, and Wild Lime).
Michael prefers the Vanilla and Orange ones (the Blood Orange might be the best) ... Bucket and I also really like the Lavender.
The Cucumber flavor ... it's ... strongly cucumber-y.
Don't get me wrong, I like cucumbers ... but I found a way to drink up the four bottles I got.
Pineapple-mango flavor enhancer (like Mio) ... enough to turn the soda golden.
The cucumber flavor is still very present. But it's sweeter and lots better. Bucket and Mom agree.

I wish I knew a place that sold ALL the other flavors. Even though I'm not WILD about rhubarb ... and I'm a little nervous about the juniper. But I like ginger ales/ginger beers (like root beer, in case you're worried that I've gone apostate. Nope. Still a tee-totaller). And the fruity ones all sound good.

Bruise has been working hard ... and his efforts are being rewarded.
He's done all the work to earn his Wolf badge. The cubmaster is aware.
He should get it at the next pack meeting.
(She was really impressed at how quickly he's gotten it. ... Just under six months from joining Scouts to receiving it. ... I figured that it'd be best to keep him motivated, right? So, now I need to research the requirements for his Arrow of Light and his Eagle Scout projects. We're a team.)

But that's one less thing for me to fret about. Since he's supposed to earn his Wolf before working on the arrow points. And I didn't want to take the chance that we couldn't work on arrow points during summer vacation (since we don't have meetings besides Day Camp during the summer break).
So, GOAL ACHIEVED!! Phew!!

I also am about to get Bucket a Girl Scout's book so she can do requirements for fun and get those signed off. Maybe I can get her badges? I don't know.
Because she REALLY likes how her twin gets to do STUFF and get it signed off and get badges.
(I'd get her into Girl Scouts properly ... but we already have stuff going on most weeknights. I really like those nights when we don't. So we have time for reading scriptures together, having a family prayer with all of us home, AND having time for a chapter or so of a bedtime story.)
I think in summer, we'll try a sport, since they won't have Activity Days or Scouts. ... I'll have to plan around Day Camp, though. And there's swimming lessons. Those are important. 
And now summer already feels extremely busy.

I should go start cleaning the house. If I can get it to look a little better, then I can rationalize reading for a couple hours (aka Bubbles's nap).

And I need to practice Spanish and water the plants and do a million other things.
But I should just START.
So that I can get things done and get a shower before the kids get home.
Then there's PTC (Parent-Teacher Committee), immediately followed by our ward's Relief Society activity for the month ... our RS President (newly-called!) is teaching about gardening and utilizing herbs.
If you know me (which, I think, most of you do), you know that I'm pants at keeping plants alive.
(Case in point: I have THREE houseplants. The peace lily -- Nana sent it as part of a floral arrangement when I was in the hospital with Bruise and Bucket -- is doing okay. I got a hanging basket of pansies for my birthday. It's pretty much dead. So is the azalea that another friend brought me. It's not totally dead ... but it has seen much better days. Poor thing.)

But, yeah. That's most of what's happening on the homefront here.
I'm going to work on dishes and cleaning up the kitchen and getting some more laundry done. And maybe the junk-counter and the dining table. That will spruce up the place a lot.

Then I can rationalize taking the time to read and play on my tablet, right? ;P

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

So ... how was YOUR Mother's Day? (Mothers' Day? Whatever.)

Mine started off with breakfast ... that was kinda in bed, but I was in the shower by the time the kids brought it in. Oops.

I managed to get ready and dressed and everything ... we made it to church on time.

After the Primary (ages 3-11) kids sang to the moms and were coming back to sit in the congregation, Bubbles realized that SHE didn't get to do anything cool ... and started WAILING. So I took her out for a breather. Then, later, Michael took her out ... and she went to Nursery (18 months-3 years) a titsch early.

Good times.

In Sunday School, I noticed that something was moving on Michael's sweater vest.



It was a louse.

So, after Sunday School, I checked Bucket's hair (she was sitting on that side of Michael during Sacrament  (like Communion meeting)) and there was another.

As soon as church was over, we hied ourselves over to Target and broke the Sabbath to get the LAST(!!) lice kit (apparently, the real word is pediculicide ... who knew?) and I treated Bucket's head ... and checked everyone else's heads.

Thankfully, we caught it really early. Only, like THREE adults and maybe ten smaller ones (including the one on Michael's sweater) ... and that's a generous estimate.
I've been checking her head twice daily since ... and it's all VERY clean and clear and under control. THANK GOODNESS. Oh, thank goodness, indeed.

Then we went and visited Mom and Dad C ... and came back home and went to bed early. Since we were all exhausted.

Why were we all tired?

Because FRIDAY was the Father-Son Campout!
Michael took Bruise, a couple of the neighbor boys (whose father has passed), and a friend/other adult guy.
Michael's back was VERY SORE by the time he got home. And he didn't rest well at all.

Bruise and Bucket, despite being miles and miles apart, fell asleep around the same time. Twin magic?
I put Bubbles to bed around 9:30, which is late for her, since she was GRUMPY and wouldn't lie down on her sleeping bag in the front room.

Bucket and I watched "America's Cutest" and then a few episodes of "My Cat From Hell" until she fell asleep ... on the couch that I was going to sleep on.
So I went to my own bed. ... And, without Michael, it's too big.
I stayed up until around 12:30/12:45 playing on my tablet.

So, yeah, we were all cranky/tired.
Michael got home, got a shower, took a nap. I laid down with him for a bit after the kids had showers ... no hot water left for my shower. So I read and started to doze a little until the hot water tank was full again.

Then we worked at getting the tent and tarp clean and dry so we could store them until the summer.
(Western Oregon = humid, mildew capital! ... I still love it, though. It's so green.)

Then we headed out and did some grocery shopping ... and came home.
Michael sat in the recliner and fell asleep. I was on the couch and I fell asleep (Bruise maintains that I did not snore. Bucket says that I did. But Bruise says that was Michael).

Yeah ... It makes me wonder why our Stake chooses the weekend of Mother's Day for that campout. ... "Here! Go out and have fun! If you want to take your wives/mothers out the next day? Well, have fun with that after making her help clean stuff, do a crapload of muddy laundry, and having everyone exhausted! Whooo!!" ... Yeah ... I'm a little conflicted with the timing on that.

This year, with the lous-y situation (ha ha ha.......), I really fell behind on getting stuff done.
I meant to call my mom and Nana and L and Michael's Gramma (she's Southern), send an e-card to Aunt J and Grampy's wife, bring a card to Grandma C, and visit with Mom C.

Well, I called my mom. And we visited with Mom C and Grandma C (brought a present for Mom C. I'm waiting for the rest of my mom's present to arrive). ... I sent out emails to Grampy's wife, Aunt J, and L this morning ... Apparently, when Nana was talking to my dad, she thought he was me ... Yeah. dementia is not the best thing.

And ... well, I have a filthy house, dinner to get prepared, a dinner to deliver, laundry to be done, dishes to be done ... At least the hall bathroom is clean. I just need to put towels in there. It's a start, right?

I think that, next year, I'll steal Jenny's idea and just ask for a clean house that I don't have to clean myself.
Since, well, no matter how much I tidy it up while Bubbles naps and the kids are at school, it's trashed by the next morning. I'm running out of caring. Especially after how I wasn't motivated at all last week ... it's not pretty. Oh well.

I did get some pretty pictures from the kids, though.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Calm

So, I mentioned that I emailed the counselor my concerns ...

He called back.

The call is no longer extended to me.

I did apologize and tell him that I usually am not so high-maintanence. And that I do want to serve ... but that, from the moment I sent him the last email, I started to feel ... calm. Better. Not bursting into tears randomly.

But, yes, after he received the email, he talked to Bishop (and the other counselor, I'd suppose). They agreed that maybe this isn't the right time/calling/something.

And it has been rescinded.

And I still feel calm. Good. Not under-a-dark-cloud.

So, apparently, I'm not spiritually defunct. Which is nice to know.

... And, I somehow know that if they still felt impressed to have me in that calling, I could have managed. Somehow. But there's a reason that it wasn't right for me (or multiple reasons, who knows). But I felt calm no matter how I thought of things going. Still extended? That's okay. I turn it down outright? It's okay. They take it back? Still cool.

As soon as I finished the conversation, I finished reading bedtime stories to the kids and got them in bed.
Then I texted Michael. And I called my mom. I started a message to Jenny (since I had talked to her about it and promised to keep me posted). And I told the kids, since I had asked for THEIR input on it (hey, they've been with Heavenly Father more recently than I have. They might have some great insight, you never know. I figure that I might as well let them have some input. If I was put in that calling, it'd have affected them both a bit). Bruise was okay with the news. Bucket cheered a bit. Bubbles is still learning to talk, so it was hard to figure out her reaction, since their bedroom is a little dark.

But, yeah. It's strange to feel so calm. I usually am a nervous wreck.

... And part of me wonders if I'm due for my cycle, since my mantra the last couple days seems to be EAT ALL THE THINGS!! Or so it seems.

But, yeah. Things are okay. I'm okay.

Huh ...

So, after feeling horrible (and that's a bit of an understatement) since being extended that one calling on Sunday morning, I'm feeling a lot better.

I wrote an email (another) to the Bishopric counselor who extended the call.

I gave a lot of reasons/excuses of why I'm really not comfortable with this calling.
  • I have never felt so clueless in a calling as when I had this one five years ago.
  • I hate being in front of people ... and that's a requirement of this calling.
  • In our ward (congregation), our Scouting program is ... special. We have two wards combined, which isn't that usual. Half of the leadership is from the other ward. ... And, if I'm in charge and some of the other ward's folks don't want to do what I say, they just might not do it at all.
    (This is the reason why my twins have their activities on different days. If our ward had its own Scouting program, Bruise and Bucket would have their activities on the same weekday and in the same building.)
  • If I accept this calling, I'll have two weeks where I'm not home for three days in a row of those weeks (Between dropping off Bucket for Activity Days and picking her up, being present for Cub Scouts three evenings a month, Round Table meetings on the second Wednesday, Parent-Teacher Committee meeting on the THIRD Wednesday of the month, IMMEDIATELY followed by our monthly Relief Society meeting ... Yeah, that's a LOT of time away from my family).
  • A big reason why I've been TRYING to accept this calling is because I hate disappointing people or being unsupportive.
  • I'm sure that I'll receive blessings IF I accept it and work on it, but ... whenever I think about accepting/performing this calling, I cry (and cry and cry and cry).
  • Part of this calling is getting a group to be enthusiastic about this auxiliary. It's quite difficult to develop enthusiasm if your leader is sobbing. Just saying.
  • While I have a testimony that this auxiliary is important, I don't have a testimony that it requires me in it as anything but a supportive semi-outsider.
  • My husband already has a BIG calling. I'm working to support him as Elders Quorum president. Which he's been for FOUR YEARS (or, as I prefer to say it "FOUR-EVER"), through THREE different bishops. ... And he doesn't have any impression that they'll be releasing him anytime soon.
I could also state that I'm rather lazy and I LIKE to be at home. And I already have a calling that they never mentioned releasing me from (and we JUST got a new Relief Society president ... I like her. I don't want her to scrabble about to find a replacement for me immediately). I'm cool with my calling ... I don't mind being in it (even though, as Compassionate Service Leader, it's really a "feast or famine" calling. There are months when I don't need to do much at all. Others where I'm desperately working to find weeks of dinners/meals delivered to families. Or emergency delegations of people to help box up an apartment. Stuff like that. It can be stressful. Usually, though, it's not. I just make sure that ladies who've had their babies get some meals delivered to them. I try and make sure that I'm delivering some meals, too. I don't want my sisters in the ward to have to do anything that I'm not willing to do ... but, for some things, I can't, since it's hard to schlep a toddler over to clean/pack a house. I've managed with an infant. Toddlers are harder).

But, yeah. After sending the email yesterday morning, I've finally felt calm/peaceful.
I'm not randomly bursting into tears or snapping at my kids (well, not AS much on that last one).
I feel so much better.

Maybe that's my answer.

And it could be that I've let myself become spiritually lacking. I'm pants at reading my scriptures and saying individual prayers. I never feel like the most spiritual person on the block. Ever.

And so, when I'd pray about this calling, I wouldn't sense any real answer. No definite "no." But I sure wasn't getting anything feeling peaceful ... or anything that interrupted the gloomy cloud that was hanging over me. Even when I'd try and make it like a spiritual Magic 8-ball.
"Okay, I'll take it. I'll do this. I have the ability to do it. I don't want to do it, but I can manage ... okay? Is that what I need to do? ... ... ..." *starts crying again.*

"All right, I'm turning it down. Not going to do it. I mean, I don't HAVE to accept it. I'm trying to support my leaders. But, well, maybe there's some other way." *cries more*

I still haven't officially accepted or rejected this calling ... and I don't really have any idea on what I should do/choose. But ... well, it feels okay again. Well, as okay as it can when I don't know what to do. But, still.

I haven't heard back from the counselor. I'm wondering if he's gone back to the bishopric about it.
At least they know that I really don't WANT to let them down or be unsupportive. I worked to make that clear. And they will know that I might not be spiritual enough to receive (or, at least, to recognize) an answer on my own in regards to this.

But, yeah, that's really about all there is about that.

And I should let you know that Michael took Bruise to Cub Scouts yesterday evening. They stopped by the store on their way home. Brought me gelato and flowers. Bruise picked out red carnations. (I think he remembers that I love carnations and their sweet, spicy scent. Because he remarked to Michael that these ones really didn't smell. Which is true of about all carnations from a florist's shop. Sad.)

But, Bruise picked out red carnations because, as he said, "Red is the color of the heart."

Yeah, my husband has raised a great boy.

(Bucket, Bubbles and I read books together while the boys were away. In case you wondered.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Since I last blogged (a real post)

Let's see, what all else has gone on the last couple weeks?


  • Michael's started playing basketball at the church a couple times a week
  • In related news, he got himself a case of gamekeeper's thumb (a guy fouled him. Or something. I don't know sports. Sorry). And he was pretty sore ... just about everywhere.
  • Other related news, apparently I have some semi-mad tape-wrapping skillz. I wrap Michael's ankles before his games. ... Apparently, I should wrap his knee and wrists, too.
  • I bought red lipstick. I figured that if anyone gives my guff about wearing it, I can just ascribe it to being part of my mid-life crisis, right?
  • We got rid of our water cooler ... and there were TONS OF ANTS swarming underneath. Fun.
    I do miss the ease of instantaneous tea brewing ... but it's nice that Bubbles isn't getting herself a million cups of water (and spilling them/throwing them/leaving them all over) daily.
  • Bruise caught some virus ... and was down for about 4 days with a fever. I took him (Bubbles tagged along) to the doctor. Got better dosage instructions for Tylenol/Ibuprofen. He went back to school on Wednesday.
  • The missionaries (sister missionaries) spent most of Monday (the 28th) at our house to do laundry.
    We fed them dinner on Saturday.
  • I got my Visiting Teaching done. I feel bad when I don't. Because I want all the sisters in my care to know that I like them very much.
  • Thursday, the kids' school had a get together. Mexican culture, crafts, some food, and each child went home with a new book.
  • Bruise was awarded Student of the Month at school on Friday. 
  • After school, we went to Michael's folks house. They watched the kids and we went out to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It's good.
  • Saturday was supposed to be a busy day. Free Comic Book Day, a local college had a Pet Day Fair ... Michael was at a shooting activity. But the kids weren't cleaning their room ... and so I just read books until they got it done (which wasn't until AFTER Michael got back. And wasn't long before the missionaries came over for dinner.
And, in the previous post, I already talked about Sunday. And a bit of Monday.

So, yeah. That's really about everything worth writing about. And probably even some things NOT worth writing about.

I should work on dinner or something. At least Michael's basketball gear is all the way through the laundry. So that's something. And I painted my nails and toes Sunday ... but I don't know that I'm wild about my nails ... I painted Bucket's, too, since she asked.

I don't want to do anything. I just want to curl up and not have had this calling extended to me.
But it's not like I can hide until they find someone else. Oh, I sure wish, though.

Well, I sure suck at keeping up with this, huh?

Okay, so I'm working my way through the fiasco from last month.

There's a part of me that just wishes that I were a lot cooler. That I had more self-confidence. That I wasn't ready to drop everything at a moment's notice to soothe feelings.

Because, really, instead of saying that "I wasn't my best self" by asking if a visit were convenient ... and, really, it's not a huge gaffe. Especially in our church. The friend KNOWS this. (That's why a big part of me really wonders if it's the wife, who might not know about Visiting/Home Teaching and all that. Benefit of the doubt, right?)

Instead of being so quick to apologize, I REALLY kind of wish that I had sent that meme of Ron Burgundy, you know, the one that reads "Well, that escalated quickly."

Then I could have stated, for the record, that I wasn't inviting myself. Since they're not at church and we don't see each other socially, there's no chance for them to invite anyone from church over. And this is a visit from the Stake President. We just want to make sure they're okay, see if there's anything we can help with. We're a freaking Ward FAMILY. Why won't you let us love yoooooooooou???

And that would have been WAY better, overall, than being stuck in a glass cage of emotion.
(Yes, that was ANOTHER Anchorman reference.)

But, oh well, shoulda coulda woulda.

So, I've been extended a calling ... and I haven't made a definitive decision yet.
It's a calling I've had before. One that was not ... very pleasant.
When the bishopric member extended the calling, I burst into tears.
And then went to the car for the rest of church ... so I missed my favorite Old Testament story lesson in Gospel Doctrine (Balaam's talking ass, if you're curious. Yes, mostly because I get to SAY that. I'm a rebel, okay?) ... and Relief Society.

And I pretty much start crying every time I think of accepting this calling again.

If we had anywhere to put any more kids in this house, I'd march down to the county clinic and have my IUD removed ... this way, I'd have a very good excuse. "Nope! Can't do it! Too stressful! It'd hurt the baby! Oh, look at my wrist! Time to go!"

But, since I don't have any really good reason NOT to accept it (besides uncontrollable crying), if I don't accept it ... well, would that be demonstrating a lack of faith? Would it be unsupportive to our leadership?

They didn't mention releasing me from my current calling. And, from the call I got from our new RS President, I don't think that she's aware of my being released from it in the near future ...

Of course, there's a big part of me that's all, "Instead of ME doing that, how's about y'all release Michael from his HUGE calling that he's been in FOREVER (or so it seems), put him in this role and I can totally be HIS ASSISTANT. I could handle that. Cool?"

I suppose that I could try and bargain like that ... You want me for this calling that was rather the stuff of my nightmares? Find a new EQ President. Or find someone else to call and I can be the assistant. I'm a good assistant/secretary.

Or pay for my medical insurance, since I might just have a stroke over this, m'kay?

I mean, they really should be very grateful that I didn't immediately answer a resounding NO.

I can always just try ... and if it's just as horrible, they'll understand when I ask to be released. Because, this time, I'm not going to flail about in a calling for months.

Still, even just thinking of being in this calling ... I don't know that I can physically handle it.
If I get up there and sob uncontrollably, I think that would be quite detrimental to the goals of this calling.

I just ... I don't know.
And all this crying about it is giving me a headache.

Seriously, if I didn't have a family to take care of and laundry to wash, I am ready to just go become a hermit for a while.

Ugh. If I didn't feel like I might be letting people down by refusing this calling, I'd do so in a flash.
(Yes, I've refused a calling before. I wasn't attending the ward where my records were. And I knew I couldn't perform my duties. ... So I was told to transfer my records. Which I did. GLADLY. Another time, when Bruise and Bucket were wee nurslings (maybe six months old?), I was called as a Sunday School teacher. I told them that I didn't think I could do it, since the twins would both need to eat ... and I couldn't leave a class of 9-year-olds for up to 20 minutes at a time. So they called Michael AND me as teachers. I would take Bruise or Bucket out for changings/feedings as needed. It was great. Even though I REALLY missed being in RS and getting some adult interaction with the ladies. I usually feel really cut off when I don't get to attend RS. As much as I LOVED being YW Secretary, I did miss being in RS on Sundays. ... A few years ago, I was extended a call to be Stake YW Camp Director. BUT I also had previously committed to being Matron of Honor in a friend's wedding ... and I didn't know if I even could MAKE it to camp. I was honest and upfront about it. I was then called as an Assistant to the Camp Director. Which was much better ... and it so happened that I was able to make it to the wedding AND to camp. Phew.)

So ... yeah. I've been told that, if I accept, I could have an assistant called.
But, well, I'd rather BE the assistant. I prefer to shoulder only so much responsibility.
Or to run away screaming ... if we're being completely honest about this.

Yeah, running away (if I RAN, which I don't ... so, um, waddling/hobbling away) is very, very tempting.

Counting ...

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