Thursday, July 28, 2016

In which I am maudlin ... let's hope blogging this gets it out of my system.

So, last night I was feeling pitiful (gastronomically ... sorry, TMI) ... and, apparently my brain thought that I should feel pitiful mentally, too!

Misery loves company, right? *overly bright smile*

So, I'm lying in bed, next to Michael and ask ... "Do you think she misses me as much as I miss her?"
He is intuitive and knows that I'm asking about that bestie that ... well, she didn't give me the Cut Direct, since that would involve seeing me. But, yeah, she took herself out of my life without warning.

And ... even though one of the gals I Visit Teach told me, 'Why would you want to keep suffering? Even if she came back and asked to be friends again, why would you take her back?"

It's not that I'm masochistic (well, HOPEFULLY not) ... but, when her and my friendship started out, it was good. It was fun. I miss that.

I don't like that I don't feel as self-assured. I don't like that I lost someone who was so much fun to laugh with.

I mean, it'd be one thing if she had left my life, but I still had my friend K, who passed away, who was fun to laugh and bake with ... even though she and her family were going to move away at some point. I can keep a friendship going cross-country ... I had done it before. Heck, I manage to keep a friendship going across the planet. ... It's just a little harder to do it through the veil (They never call, they never write ...).

But, even though it's been a long while ... nearly a year ... I still feel that ... I ... I just don't feel right.
I feel lost. I feel full of doubt that I'm even a decent friend.

STUDIES SAY, so they say, that if a friendship lasts seven years, it'll be able to weather anything.

And I kind of hate that, too.

Because ... I feel like a crap person.
What kind of crappy person does a girl have to be that her bestie cuts all ties with her without a word? That moves back to the same town and never even texts?

... Going with that, I am a REALLY CRAPPY person.

And ... I don't want to be a really crappy person. I want to know how to have fun, how to not be filled with self-doubt.

And, as friends have pointed out, this now-gone-friend has changed.
And it was harder to be supportive for her ... so ... maybe she's done me a favor?

I don't know.

They say that time heals all wounds.
How do I stop picking at this scab?

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Still not dead yet!

Wow ... my last post was ... TWO WHOLE MONTHS AGO?!?

I mean, I knew it'd been a while ... but, wow. Okay.

Why haven't I blogged? Well, lazy covers it. That and I'm not the most exciting person.

I'd been reading more. Fell out of that. Caught up in Facebook games and life, I suppose.

Let's see ... what's the bullet list?

  • I turned 35. 
  • One of my friends got a place of her own and is moved in ... and out of her ex-husband's place. Thank goodness.
  • The big kids (Bruise and Bucket) finished fourth grade. They passed. ;)
    They had a great year, actually. They're looking forward to next school year.
  • We have been going around to a lot of places in town.
    Our city does a cute little scavenger-hunt-but-not activity during the summer.
    Kids of all ages can get a "passport" at the Visitors Association, then go to each of the places/events (like a couple local festivals) listed and get a stamp at each one. Then, bring your passport back at the end of the summer. Each stamp = 1 entry in a drawing for prizes.
    One year, Bucket won a gift certificate for the local paint-your-own-pottery place downtown. Last year, she won vouchers for the local bounce-house.
  • The kids have been watching more and more of the Studio Ghibli films (Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro) ... we just got Only Yesterday (FINALLY released in North America!) and Spirited Away is on its way to our door (that's my favorite one).
  • My stepdad's dementia is getting worse ... as it does. It's really stressful for my mom. And I don't really know what to do about it.
    My Nana finally got moved into the memory care place ... and she's liking it very much. I need to write her a letter ... and I've been putting it off. Like a jerk.
  • I've had some doozies of dreams. I don't remember much of them, really.
    In one, I had such bad head lice (but the kids were FIIIIIINE!!) that it looked like moving dandruff on my head from a distance. Gross.
    In last night's episode, there was a crazy drought AND zombie apocalypse ... and there was a dad living on an desert island with at least one daughter ... and he was wanting her to help him die so that she'd have food to outlast all the awful times ... Yeah, my brain is weird.
  • Got a few sunburns ... and maybe a heat rash on ONE arm. Now it just has these little pale bumps on it. I don't like it.
  • Michael and I went through and weeded out stuff we've already watched on our Netflix queue. I know, we're SO ADULTY.
  • Mom and I ordered a full box of Horrible Histories for the kids (and ME!) ... this way they'll be more ready to play Timeline (a tabletop game where you put historical events in order. It's fun. Unless you don't LIKE fun and/or history. Then may the angels weep for you ... because history is AWESOME! ... Remember, I grew up devouring the Little House on the Prairie books and Anne of Green Gables. I love me some historical fiction. I also love learning, because I feel that it makes me a more interesting person. When I don't learn something new, I feel BORING. And I don't like that. I want to be DAZZLING and full of SPARKLING bon mots!
  • We've been playing a lot of tabletop games. Betrayal at the House on the Hill is a favorite of this household. Forbidden Island is awesome (we need to also get Forbidden Desert). We've played a few versions of Timeline (We traded our copy of American History to Mom and Dad C, since that's the one that Mom C likes best. And she had accidentally ordered the Historical Events (world history) version, which she didn't like as much. So we traded. And we also ordered a new copy of the American History version. Since it's fun. And it helps the kids to learn, too. While having fun). ... Gloom is good. We have a couple versions of Fluxx. I splurged on Pandemic (and my mom actually liked that one, though we've yet to play an episode that we've actually won. lol.) ... Yeah, the family that plays together, stays together.
  • We've cleaned the house a lot. Especially the kids' bedroom. Oy and vey, let me tell you. But they're doing a lot better on it. 
  • The kids were grounded for just about forever ... tablet/honesty issues ... I keep hoping that we're past that. We'll see.

Okay, that's most of what all I can really remember to blog about. I mean, I did get to help chaperone their class field trip the last week of school ... and that was fun. I had a blast goofing off with some of the other moms. Good times, right?

We've gone to the pool a bit ... which is why I have gotten sunburns (well, that and a picnic lunch we had at a historical flour mill in the area).

Oh ... did I mention that I had cut off SO MUCH of my hair? I was TIRED of, when washing it, it feeling like STRAW and GROSS ... so almost all the colored bits are gone. It was a pixie cut ... it's growing out a lot, almost to a bob now. And I have a few blonde highlights left. I lost the last of the purple (it had faded to a whisper of lavender by the end). And I have nearly all virgin hair for the first time in DECADES. It's kind of weird. That and you can see, if you look closely, my greys at my temples (and in my eyebrows, if I don't pluck those).

But, yeah ... and I'm wearing a lot more leggings/jeggings. Even when you can see my dangly tummy through it. Because, dang it, I'm 35-friggin-years-old. I want to be comfortable.

So, yes, I'm crotchety in my old age. And in need of more naps. ^_^

Anything that I've left out?

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Ocean of Emotion

What have you missed since I last blogged?

Not a whole bunch. Me being lazy and reading a lot.
My mom getting the munchkin brigade to CLEAN THEIR ROOM.
Michael and I applied for our passports ... not that we have a trip planned yet or anything.
I cut my hair (it needed it. Now, instead of being between my shoulderblades, it's jaw-length. And, overall, it feels healthier).

Michael and I went to Chef's Night Out in Eugene.
I, of course, FREAKED OUT before heading down ...

  • What do I wear?
  • It's a stinking CHARITY EVENT (Don't get me wrong, I love philanthropy)!
    There will be men with their TROPHY WIVES there!
    I will bring shame upon Michael!Shame on his company! Shame on his cow!
    (He doesn't have a cow, you say? WELL, THERE'S THE ONE THAT I'M HAVING NOW!!)
  • What if I'm overdressed? What if I'm underdressed?
  • What if I have to TALK to people and I say something declasse? 
  • What if I spill my drink or food?!?
  • Do I look like I'm trying to hard?
  • ... Oh, hell. Fix the undereye makeup. Add some damn green liquid liner. It'll distract from the waves of fear and desperation you're giving off.
You think I'm kidding ... the plethora of rabidly-begging-for-input texts that I sent Michael and the tear-stains on our coverlet prove otherwise.

By the time I got down there (after wonderful C [who I Visit Teach] came to watch the kidlets came over, Bruise and Bucket arrived home from school, and I kissed everyone good-bye), after some en-route car karaoke, I was better-prepared mentally to deal with ... people.

I should say that I DO like people. Dealt with in small groups, I'm FIIIIINE.
But, well, when I don't know them and I'm not performing as someone else and when I feel fat and I'm on my period and there are angry bees that hate me in my head ... I'm ... vulnerable and more than a little sick-in-the-head.

Just keeping it real for you all.

I mean, usually, I can accept that, yes, there's more of me to love than average. I've got curves that won't quit. I love food ... and don't love to exercise. Or sweat, actually. Give me a book, a BLT, a rainy day, and a cuppa rooibos chai ... I'm a happy camper.

Put me into a social situation that involves dressing up more than in a jersey knit ... with strangers ... who have money (our tickets were given to Michael's company since they worked on an awesome project to combat hunger) ... and, well, I go into crisis-social-mode, obvs.

Good times, good times.
Once we GOT there ... and the pre-event schmoozing was over (so I didn't have to pretend like I knew what I was doing there), I could be proactive and go on the hunt for sampling bazillions of yummy things (I'm not that into chicken livers or pork pate. Good to know. But, DANG SON, I found some Ginger Lemonade that I can buy over at Market of Choice ... now I have TWO go-to drinks there [The other is the Rose Lemonade that you can pry from my COLD. DEAD. HANDS. ... though I also like the Dry Sodas -- esp. Lavender, Rhubarb, and Blood Orange.]).

Michael and I practically ate ourselves sick ... but there were SO many things to try ... and we hadn't even tried them all. And we didn't have seconds of anything!
(The Wild Duck cafe's Beer-Cheese soup? Yum. And there was a cantaloupe salsa with avocado. And a roasted-carrot chicken curry. And a rosewater panna cotta. And a sweet potato cobbler with lavender-caramel sauce ... and more ... and it was all really good).

See ... social events = STRESSFUL.
Food events = GOOD.
So, once it changed to a FOOD EVENT, I was good. No more stressful than getting lunch at the county fair, right?
(OH gosh, I sound like some antisocial bumpkin ... probably because I am rather a somewhat-antisocial bumpkin.)

Also, my Nana has been moved into an assisted-care home. With her dementia, it had to happen.
But, still ... I ...

I'm supposed to write her a letter every couple of weeks ... because I know that I want to keep in touch with her. And she can't hear well enough over the phone. And she doesn't have a computer, let alone know how to email or anything.  ... But ... it's tough. I don't always say how I feel. Because I don't want to be all "Hey, Nana. Your dementia makes me mad. I love you. But dementia sucks. And I know that it has to be worse for you. But it's sad. And it makes me feel like I've lost you and am mourning you before you have died. Because it's like part of your IS dying NOW. And I hate that. And it makes me feel selfish that I'm griping about the fact that I still HAVE you and I CAN visit you ... and it's not the same. ... Even if I could visit, which I try to when we can ... there's a part of me that wants to break down and cry about your state of being you-but-not and I just want to go back about 18 years to when I could walk with my dad down to your house and you'd feed Sarah, David, and me strawberries-fresh-from-the-garden with a splash of cream and a heaping spoonful of sugar. And Sarah and I would dress up in your costume jewelry and nightgowns and feel so grown up and we'd go and "help" Pop-pop mow Mrs. Weatherbee's field and tramp about in the garden and everything. I miss the smell of the attic at your old house back home. I miss riding in the backseat of your peach-colored Chrysler. I buy Freedent gum to keep in my purse because that's what you always had. And coffee candy. Even though it makes me feel like the most rebellious Mormon girl. Because these things remind me of being a little girl at your house during summer afternoons. And I was so very content then, without grown-up responsibilities ... and I really miss that. I really miss you. And I HATE that dementia has taken you away from us ... from me ... before death has. Because it makes me mad. And it makes me sad. And it makes me feel powerless and vulnerable and ineffective. Because I have NO IDEA how to fix this or what to do... I mean, I GET that I need to rely on the Lord and all. But it's not the easiest thing to do all the time. And I'll be walking in a store or in the library and I'll be hit by this WAVE of GRIEF, hard enough that I find myself breathless, reeling in its wake ... and I ... I ... I just don't know what to do.  And I don't like that. And I don't know if it will be any easier when you're fully gone or if I'll just feel more guilty for not knowing how to appreciate you more while you are here. I love our visits, even if you are more and more childlike each time I see you ... I'll admit, though, that after I get into the car to go, I mostly just want to curl up into a ball in a corner somewhere or lose myself in a story ... because I don't know how to handle losing you more and more. And that makes me feel selfish. And guilty. ... But I'm glad that you ARE around. That Bruise, Bucket, and Bubbles get this chance to know you here, as their great-grandmother. That they are able to witness your love for and fondness of them. That they're able to catch some time with you. I barely knew any of my great-grandparents ... so I know how lucky they are. I think I'm mostly just mad that, even though I've got my heels dug and and am shrieking for you not to go, that the dementia keeps dragging you away, piece by piece, until I'm grasping at the grains of sand running through my fingers as those grief-waves wash over me, leaving me soaked and chilled and frustrated-to-tears by my ineffectiveness. But I love you. And I want you to know that one fact. If you know nothing else, I just want you to remember, to KNOW, that we love you."


I mean, I could write that to her. It'd be honest. And one reason I don't like the letters/cards that I send to her is because they seem disingenuous ... all prattling on about how we love her (true) and what the kids are doing (true) and that we're fine (true) and we miss her (all too true) ... but that elephant is in the room and I am averting my eyes from its presence. And that feels dishonest. But it doesn't feel proper/kind/whatever to bring it up -- "I hate dementia. Dementia sucks. Dementia is ... I don't know what it is, but I don't like it." ... even if I did say those (true) things ... it might upset Nana more than it'd change anything else. So ... well, I don't see the point of doing it. 

I don't really know of anything else I ... strike that. I can report that Michael and I have now been married 15 years and ... some-odd days. I'm refusing to math right now.
And we went to the coast and ate good food and bought clothes.
I now have a rainjacket that fits me. And has a hood.
Michael got some new slacks, shirts, and ties.
We ate Monte Cristos at Gracie's Sea Hag ... and they were worth the wait and the effort!
We also went to Ripley's Believe it or Not ... just like on our honeymoon (but it was MUCH better weather this time).

And, I had signed up to sub for a Relief Society Lesson.
I figured that, hey, I'm teaching Sunday School ... why not just add on another lesson, right?
Originally, it was for March 6 - Joseph Smith.
Then it was bumped to March 13 - The Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Okay.
THEN it was rescheduled to be the Teaching for Our Times Lesson - "Strengthened Through His Atonement" by Dallin H. Oaks.
And, did I mention that it was Easter Sunday? The Sunday that our Ward choir was performing in Sacrament meeting?
Yeah, no biggie, right?

Well, I crammed. A LOT. I'd been studying multiple talks by apostles and people (all the ones that Elder Oaks referred to in his talk. And a few more. Because WHY NOT?) ... including an excerpt from Lighten Up by Chieko Okazaki.

Well, I referred to the outline I wrote. The classroom clock wasn't working. My phone (with its clock) was in my purse. Along with the tissues that I really needed.
But the sisters all participated in the discussion.
People said that it was good.
I survived.
And I'm glad that it's over.
But it felt like it went well.

And I was VERY tired that evening.

And THAT's really, as far as I can tell, all I really have to report. 
Now, I should write that letter to my Nana.

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Dreams ... as I've just bleared awake

I remember having two dreams.

In one, we needed to stay somewhere ... and I found a recommendation for a hotel from extended family.

And, well, it was a VERY nice hotel. Like there was a full kitchen (with red enameled appliances -- like the fridge and a european-styled gas range, etc, etc.) and lovely carpeting.

And we needed to go on a trip. But we also had some other family there, who needed the cars so THEY could get around.
We would have all been able to fit them into the cars, except they had brought two friends, so with children and carseats, there wasn't room. So we were going to rent a motorcycle. And I said that there were three of us in the family, then amended that to four, since we needed to rent a child-sized helmet for Bubbles for the motorcycle (which had little partitions built into the seat, rather like in some rollercoasters).

And there was a dog that was sitting on some supplies behind the desk...

No, there was a third dream that came in the middle.

I was a spy? or something. But I was sneaking about, trying to look totally harmless and NOT suspicious. And I was a lot younger and thinner. And I was attempting to do my job with food poisoning, so I'm trying to evade the Secret Service while SEARCHING for the bathrooms ... which were lovely bathrooms, by the by.

And I was then trying to creep through a farm-animal building, like at the county fairs, and (accurately) blame the murder on the donkey (by donning multiple disguises and testifying to the police at each opportunity that, no, the donkey did it.
(At one point, I dressed up as a little boy, like Gary Coleman. I was very convincing. They suspected nothing.)

Then I dreamed that I woke up to my Bret-bro (one of my friends from high school. We adopted each other.) calling me. And I'm trying to blear awake enough to be coherent on the phone. And then, dressed all in black, Michael is back from work, since his back is hurting so badly ... and I'm trying to do acupressure on his back while still blearing awake and chatting with Bret. (I wasn't doing a very good job).

I was a little surprised to find myself waking up.
But rather glad that we don't have to pay the bill for the very nice hotel. I don't think we could have afforded it.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a glimpse into my subconscious.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

My kids are often cute. This is one of those times.

So, one of Bruise and Bucket's Primary leaders told me about their actions in Primary today.

Bruise was asked "Who is your favorite prophet?"

Bruise: "That's really hard to decide. I have two of them."
"Well, can you tell us which ones those are?"
Bruise: "Thomas S. Monson and Captain Moroni."
"Why are they your favorites?"
Bruise: "I really like President Monson's stories."

Later, Bucket was chosen to pop a balloon.


Zoƫ: (to leader) " ... Can I just have a pin?"

Yeah, my kids are funny ... for the most part. And cute.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Titles are for ... well ... people who can think them up (i.e., not me)

Okay ... Bubbles is now four. We're working on doing some pre-school stuff with her.

She actually seems pretty strong at math for a girl who counts "eleven, twelve, firrteen, sixteen, nineteen, twenty."
(Really, she's got a grip on addition and subtraction that I was surprised by. ... Note to self: Just because one is less-than-totally-confident with math, that does not by any means extend to one's offspring.)

The internet is still mostly working.
So the Bluray player had issues (the tray wouldn't open. Or, when manually pried open [GENTLY], recognize that it WAS open.
So we had to buy a new one.
Which, after we get a new Bluray/receiver for the front room and a new TV for the bedroom, will move to the bedroom. Yay for Netflix for Mommy folding laundry while the kids play in the front room!
Or Netflix for the kids in the bedroom while Mommy watches movies with friends in the front room!

But that's a ways into the future.

And now, as of this morning, the deadbolt on the front door isn't working. Won't retract. So that door is stuck locked.
Good thing the back door works!
(Makes me rather wish that our house was like my mom's ... with two main doors and an escape possible with another door in the laundry room!)

Okay. Enough for now.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The last month (well, nearly, since February DOES have fewer days so it's not been a FULL month ... mostly)

For about the last month, we had been having internet issues.

Mostly with the wifi, which I love to pronounce as "wiffy" because, well, why not?
It's one of my charming peculiarities. Like how I refer to "The Google."

The internet is FIXED.
It took three tech visits, hours on the phone, and a lot of frustration ... but we can stream Netflix again without any issues. Phew!

(Turns out that either Steam, that gaming program thing, eats up a lot of the connection OR those suspicious files that have gone into quarantine were messing with things OR a mix of both.)

Either way, our Phone/Internet tech guy and Michael and I were able to FIX THIS PUPPY and I can feel relieved.

I also, during this month, learned how to use the printer to print on POST-ITS, y'all. This is kind of amazeballs.

Last weekend, Michael got fed up enough by the state of the house and how no one was cleaning up and had me take the kids out of the house, he was that frustrated.
So, instead of treating them to (1) the Dr. Seuss activity at the mall or (2) free movie at the YMCA later, we drove around. Then we parked at a park (no playset) and we talked. And talked. And TALKED some more.
I did most of the talking.
  • Why participating in housework is important. 
  • How it influences how we feel
  • How it influences if the Holy Ghost can be here in our home
  • What benefits it has (e.g., we can do fun things instead of having to stay home and clean the house, Mommy and Daddy are happier, you can find things more easily, ...)
After about an hour, maybe (I don't remember. We just REALLY had to pee by that point), we came home and worked some more on the house.

The living room/family room/dining room looked really nice. It hasn't, alas, stayed nearly that nice. But it's still WAY better than how it was last Saturday morning.

Bruise had his last Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet to which he needed to bring a cake for the auction. We did two dozen brownie-batter chocolate-chip cupcakes with chocolate-fudge frosting, star sprinkles, and marshmallow fondant toppers.
They looked pretty amazing ... we ended up buying them back ourselves so that Bruise could earn over $100 for Cub Scout Day Camp.
They were tasty, for sure.

We went, almost last-minute, to WizardCon in Portland. We saw, from a distance, William Shatner, John Barrowman, Jewel Staite, and a few other actors.
The kids were more interested in buying souvenirs.
Bruise bought the 10th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver. Bucket got a blue stuffed Dalek that clips to her bag. When you squeeze it, it talks. Bubbles got a stuffed Pikachu toy.
Besides the free swag (AWESOME Dark Horse Comics reusable tote), I invested in some new nail polish (I was hoping that Dark Horse would have a stall again ... and I could buy the graphic novel of Dollhouse, maybe.) from Lucky13 Lacquer.
I bought "Ride Eternal Shiny and Chrome," "Dance Magic Dance." and "Always." And then, afterwards, I looked them up online ... and ended up buying MORE colors. Which arrived today.
I bought one of the destash colors (Sinful Colors brand ... they referred to it as "Tardis Blue") for $0.50. I paid full-price for "Valkyrie." And I picked up two of their clearance colors: "A Little More Sonic" and "I Will Burn the Heart Out of You."

And, yes, there are still some other colors that I'm longing for: "Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey," "Life Is Short and You Are Hot," "Soooo Changeable," "Come at Once If Convenient," "If Inconvenient, Come All the Same."

Yes, I am a nail polish addict. And, right now I'm rocking some cute (chipping) nails.
If you're curious, I have Dance Magic Dance or Always over Orly "Liquid Vinyl," so they look either DARK teal or red-purple. It's pretty fun. And, since (1) my nails are chipping AND (2) my new polishes arrived, I think I'll be painting my nails again soon.

Okay. The big kids are getting home soon. Not like I've really done anything except blog about polishes and ordered a birthday cake for Miss Bubbles. And we did storytime, where I got to help another mom with the Origami project we were doing. And playing some Alpaca World and Neko Atsume. Yes, my life is very full.

And laundry! I'm working on laundry! And dishes! And I should vacuum! And read books!

... and play with my pretty, pretty polishes.

On the eve of your fourth birthday ...

Miss Bubbles,

You are getting to be so big! "Big and STRONG!" as you proudly pronounce as you reach as high as you can.

You can be such a wonderful helper. You're full of curiosity and sporting a strong drive for independence.

You're learning manners. You tend to play shy around most adults. You are outgoing with other children ... though, sometimes, you do tend to try to lead them more than they might like.

Your hair has stayed curly. Your eyes have stayed blue. You are working at quitting sucking your thumb. You barely have any accidents. You want to read the scriptures yourself.

You are making up your own jokes.
My favorite so far: "I want to give a goldfish to someone! To DEADPOOL!"

(I, too, am very sad that the Deadpool movie is VERY deserving of the R-rating. I wanted to see it, too. And it would have been tons funnier if he'd been just as censored [black bars, bleeps, and all] as in the comics ... Not that I totally know HOW you know who Deadpool is ... but, still).

You come and snuggle me.
You like to help me cook. Especially if we're making cookies or cakes.
You help Bruise and Bucket with emptying the dishwasher ... though we need to work on putting the silverware away in the correct places and not just flinging it all in there and jetting away.
Though, to be honest, I admire the passion you display.

You love animals.
You practice empathy ... mostly. (But I'll cut you some slack. Until tomorrow, you're still three.)
You love to sing and dance.
You love to jump, jump, jump.
You've learned to love video games already,

Your favorite colors are pink and purple.
You love bunnies best, but are expanding your adoration to hippos, cheetahs, and other animals.
You adore bathtime. You'd take multiple baths a day if I'd let you.

You're still daintily-sized ... I find it easy to carry you as we go about places, as needed. Depending on what else I'm lugging along. But, for the most part, I can carry you from the parking lot into the store, especially if the weather's bad.

You're learning so many words and how to use them well.
Sometimes you impress me with your growing vocabulary.
(I'm just glad that you don't shock me with it.)

Happy day-before-your birthday, my little smushy-face munchkin-girl.
I love you.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

A slice and some crazy dreams

So, yeah, it's been another week since I last regaled you with my WILDLY EXCITING life.

Sorry if the dripping sarcasm got onto your keyboard (Did I mention that I recently had to be a new keyboard? My "h" key stopped working. It was really weird. And frustrating. There's only so much that autocorrect can do, really ...)

Bruise and Bucket had their Fall Strings rehearsal and concert ... which meant that Bruise missed TWO Cub Scout meetings, poor guy (Bucket managed not to miss ANY, since her group of Activity girls meets towards that middle of the month, instead of the last and first weeks of any given month).

I've had the bigger kids helping a bit more around the house. They're washing clothes and getting them through the dryer. I need to get them to continue to clean their frakking room. And to LOAD the dishwasher, too. But, hey, anything is a bit of improvement, right?

I'm enjoying the electric kettle that my stepmom-but-not-by-law (my dad's long-term girlfriend ... but they've been together for over a decade ... so SHOULD I just call her my stepmom? I don't know) sent up to me after I mentioned that I'd been wanting one for a while (I'll admit that it makes tea-making much easier (tisanes, really, since they're not black/green/white tea. It's rooibos or herbal teas, aka tisanes ... but you already look bored, so I'll shut up about that).

Last night, after the concert, Michael and I sat down to watch an episode or two of The Vicar of Dibley (Dawn French is hilarious, by the by), and I did one of those little Pinterest-y crafts of wrapping my phone's charging cord with embroidery silks. It turned out pretty cute. And I'll be able to tell it from my tablet's micro-USB cord at a glance now. (Though I'll wrap THAT one later, with different colors and with a different stitch (the knotted method, where the knots end up spiraling around the cord), so I can tell the difference even in the dark! Check out my master plan! I know you're totally impressed and amazed. Go ahead and nominate me for a Nobel prize. Just rememd me that you've done it so that I can be sure to thank you in my acceptance speech. ;P

I also bought some of that pretty elastic cord from Wal-Mart ... used some to make a few hair ties (all you have to do it cut a piece big enough, then tie a knot in it. It's the perfect craft for anyone (1) with opposable thumbs (2) who knows anyone with long enough hair that might warrant tying up said hair).

I go back and forth in being absolutely gung-ho on being prepared for teaching my Sunday School class and reading in advance for Gospel Doctrine (even though I can't attend, since I'm teaching my own Sunday School class) and Relief Society (which, naturally, involved buying new highlighters and some awesome washi tape for the cute handouts ... when I'm not gluing them into my scriptures, that is) ... and NOT. I mean, I'm still working to actually prepare ... but it's a more almost-by-the-seat-of-my-pants way.

I've been reading the holds that have come in on my Overdrive (library) e-book app. I've been reading some library books. I'm trying to get our house NOT to smell like the catbox (There was an AWESOME deal on TidyCat litter on Amazon. I'm actually rather glad now that I only ordered the one 27-pound bin of it. It's not as great with the odor as either Arm and Hammer or the Walmart brand (what is it? Something twee ... "Special Kitty," I think? Whatever the name is, it's not too dearly-priced and WORKS).

My stepmom (or whatever) called yesterday, since she couldn't get into her email ... to see if I knew her password for that account.
(Yes. She had told me a mnemonic ... which is stuck in my head ... so I was the golden child who EARNED that electric kettle. ^_^  ... Especially since I woke up from a doze to answer the phone. Go me.)

Monday, (yes, I know, I'm totes jumping around this last week. Wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey ...) the kids and I ended up doing a little Valentine craft.
Word to the not-so-wise (like moi): If you have a hole-punch, USE IT. If you choose not to, you could end up giving a finger a bit of a slice if your scissors slip.

Also, it's nice when your older daughter is quite decent around blood. She helped me to get a band-aid on it. And, when I bled through THAT, to rewrap the cut ... and, once the bleeding stopped, to put new band-aids on it. She could be a nurse. She was quite calm and competent (even if she didn't know where everything was. Not her fault).

I have had a bunch of weird dreams.

Monday, I woke up shortly after Michael left for work (or else I'd have snuggled with him a bit) after having a zombie-infested dream. I was (much smaller/skinnier) and had to first wrestle a VERY overweight female zombie (with a HUGE goiter) and throw her out of a window of the abandoned-ish house I was taking shelter in.
Then, I was with a few other people. I was hoping that, since I was wearing some purple latex gloves, that the goiter-zombie's bite on my hand wouldn't do anything.
There was a little kid who got bitten by a virus-frog ... a little red frog (like a poison-dart frog) with yellow hindquarters, but with teeth and would spread the zombie-virus. So I had to chase that little son-of-a-bee-sting (the frog, not the possibly-infected child) about and stomp it before it could infect the rest of everyone. And the little kid ran over to the carpet that the frog got smashed on and started to play in the little blood puddle.
And the little kid, later was lying on her/his back ... and this kid is maybe two-ish?
And the kid start spouting out, "You know, the eggs that you cooked at 8 am were fine. But the ones that you cooked at 10:30 were ****."
And I was like, "One, you're too young to be talking so well. And, TWO, you're too young to know such language. That's wildly inappropriate."
And then I woke up.

Last night, I had a few dreams. The one that woke me up had me driving with Michael. And I couldn't stop the van soon enough -- because the brakes weren't responsive enough, and I ended up running through a red light into the left-turn lane and driving through THAT red light (to go straight) ... and a motorcycle cop pulled me over and informed me that he was taking me to JAIL. And I was freaking out. "I can't stay overnight in JAIL! If I'm in JAIL, I CAN'T DONATE BLOOD!"
And, yeah, there was the stuff about not being able to volunteer in the kids' schools and stuff ... but I REALLY was worried about not being able to donate blood.
Enough so that, as Michael was kissing me goodbye, I had to ask if it was normal procedure to be arrested for a traffic mishaps ("Not unless there are outstanding warrants, no." ... SO, since I paid that ridiculously-expensive ticket back in 2014, I should be fine.)

I also had a dream about the no-longer-friend. Someone had brought up her Instagram page (which had this bright background and was more like a picture-blog or MySpace than Instagram, but bear with me), and she had a picture posted that involved me, described as a sister-friend, and linked to an audio clip of me, Michael, and his brother, C, as we made pirate jokes and I launched off into a rather-clever (It's my dream. I can be clever if I want to!) monologue rife with pirate puns.

At first I was a little sad, since if she liked me and what I do/say so much, why aren't we friends anymore? ... Then I was a little creeped out because, in my dream, when that conversation took place, she wasn't anywhere near to record that. So, either someone recorded it and sent her a copy or stranger things are afoot.

Dreams are weird.
Especially my dreams.
Either I don't really have "normal" dreams ... or I just don't remember them well.
I mean, I do recall that I've had the naked-at-school dream (like ONCE) and the flying dream (again, like, ONCE) ... but then I have the fighting-an-invisible-ninja-lord-(and-having-my-butt-handed-to-me) dream. Or getting in trouble and being most upset because I won't be eligible to donate blood to the Red Cross anymore. Or I'm shopping and I find something AMAZING ... then I'm all disappointed when I wake up because that was an awesome thing and I DO NOT have it in real life kind of dreams.

But, yeah.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Missing ... the point

So, I had a thought strike me (not literally. That'd be painful.) that I should ask a mutual friend about my someone-that-I-used-to-be-besties situation.

Yeah, it's nice when you follow inspiration.

Not only was she patient with the near-novella I sent her, but she also responded IMMEDIATELY.

She confirms with Mom and Michael that this other friend has changed a lot. And she's also sad about it, too.

But she assured me that it's 100% not my fault (which means that I HAVE to stop moping about what I might have done/not done ... since it's not me) and that our past-friend is nuts for not keeping me around.

Which, again, was what I needed to know.

And I saw this tweet from a different Facebook friend

And, you know ... I think I'm going to be all right after all.

Even though I hate missing people.
It's one of the reasons I so don't deal well with people/pets dying. Because I'm going to miss them. And that's hard.

But, like Mom and Michael have pointed out, maybe past-friend is doing me a favor.

I still hope that she is doing okay, that she finds happiness, that everything works out for her.
But, yeah, it's going to have to work out without me. And that's okay. Or it will be, anyways. Which isn't always the same thing ... but it'll do.

I mean, except for a handful of friends from mostly pre-email days, I've kept in contact with most of my friends.

(In case you're wondering, here's a list of the friends I still need to track down:
  • Sabrina from my first-grade class. Her family moved after she got chicken pox REALLY bad. It was in her lungs and we weren't sure she'd get well. She has red hair and wore glasses. I named a red-haired doll of mine after her.
  • Katrina and Shaneeka - These were my two best friends in fifth-grade. We were in Ms. Sommers' class at Thorndyke Elementary in Seattle. They were really, really fun. I haven't been able to track them down. And I was a horrible letter-writer. So it's my fault.
  • Amy Brown - from WOU. We were in the Ed Program together. And her email stopped working after we graduated. She always was so very, very nice. She called me her Phoebe-friend, since I reminded her of Lisa Kudrow's character on friends. She also gave me a teeny book with useful French phrases.
(But, see? I do my best to keep track of most people that I know. Some people collect china figurines ... I do my best to stalk everyone on Facebook.)

But, yes, following inspiration is a good thing. Glad I followed it.

Only a week? Aren't you the lucky one!

Yeah, yeah, I suck at updating.

Okay, in no particular order, here's stuff from my life:

  • Michael built a new bookshelf in the living room. It's already full of books.
    I need to paint it. And the other bookshelf that he built last summer. (Was it in summer? I have no idea at this point.)
  • I've been playing that supercute Neko Atsume (Kitty Collector) game.
    I can be a crazy cat lady without having to worry about attracting animals to live under my house. I like that the cats can give you the gold sardines. OR that you can sell the regular sardines to buy gold sardines. Totally worth it. Good on them.
    And there's a daily password to get some sardines. That's a nice game design.
    And the cats are supercute.
  • Bruise and Michael went to the Cub Scout Lock-In last weekend. They stayed up late. Michael didn't sleep well, since I wasn't there. I didn't sleep well, since he wasn't here. Bucket stayed up WAAAAAAAY too late. So, after Bruise and Michael came home, Michael and I slept for a couple hours, got up, took the kids to the Taiko performance (Japanese drumming. Pretty awesome), went to Home Depot for light bulbs (we have SUCH the wild life. You jelly?), went home. He worked on his lesson for EQ (If you ask the lesson. there's apparently a chance that you'll end up teaching). I was going to work on my Sunday School lesson write-up-bit, but I fell asleep and napped HARD. Then we went to a birthday party.
  • Friday was my not-anymore-friend's birthday. I was going to wish her a happy birthday ... but I didn't really know how to do that without seeming like I was forcing myself on her attention.
    So I didn't. And I don't know if it was a good decision or not.
  • Church on Sunday. Went home, made lunch, took a nap, went Visiting Teaching (touched bases with all our sisters! Yay! They [hopefully] know that we love them! Yay!), went back home, went to a fireside about helping prepare our Youth for serving missions (apparently pornography is a BIG, BIG problem. And it's not just because the sexual aspect ... it's because the youth doesn't seem to have other ways they've developed to deal with stress.) ... it was a good fireside. I took a lot of notes.
  • My kids' strings concert is coming up. Tonight's the rehearsal.
  • I go between being GREAT on studying scriptures and preparing lessons ... and then NOT so much. What gives?
I really miss my friend Kim McD ... she's the one who passed a while back.
I was going through my GoogleVoice messages ... I had some texts from her. And that made me miss her a lot.

I also am realizing that I'm scared of being hurt in friendships ... a lot more than I used to be. I mean, I hate feeling like I've fallen out with a friend. But I'm not very social anymore (except online ... and sometimes not as much as before).

I need to deal with this. I don't like feeling sad or like a failure as a friend.
I mean, I know that I tried hard to be there, to be supportive ... and now I almost wish that I hadn't put so much effort into a friendship that WAS fun (and I met some great people through) ... and that's sad.

With the Kim friendship ... I just miss her a lot. And wish that I'd been able to do more for her and her family,
With the other one, ... I just am left wondering what I did wrong, what I didn't do ... I don't know. And I get frustrated by not knowing.
I've been spoiled by the internet. I can look up and research nearly ANYTHING, drop of a hat .... and I have little-to-no way to figure this out.
Not without going around and asking people.

I did ask the now-not-friend. I could see that she'd viewed the messages.

If I ask other people, it feels ... I don't know ... like middle school.
"So-and-so doesn't want to be my friend anymore, what's up with THAT?!? Can you ask her what's up?"

I mean, since she and I have a few dozen friends in common, it is almost tempting (though horribly immature) to post something like "So, [Name] unfriended me, my husband, and my mom [#] months ago. But she's kept almost everyone else. Someone want to help me figure out what I/we did that was so horrendous that she couldn't tell me about it? That she never responded to messages that I sent her? Because I'm find of boggled. I mean, they say that if a friendship survives seven years, it'll last forever? And we were friends for, like NINE FULL YEARS ... so, what gives?"

But, like I said, that would be REALLY passive-aggressive and immature. So I'm not doing that.

I tried. And it didn't work. So ... well, either I've DONE something pretty horrible (since in my FB message to her, I did give her the out of well-maybe-facebook-was-being-wonky and she could have JUMPED on that. "Oh, yeah! How weird! It's all fixed now!" ... but, no. So ... yeah.) or I HAVEN'T done something that was MANDATORY.
And, either way, I really .... just don't know.

And it eats at me. What did I do/not do?
I try to be a good friend ... and, well, apparently, I'm not as good of a friend as I'd like to think I was/am.

In other news, two of my friends are twitterpated with each other. It's cute.
And I rather wish they'd gotten together in high school (even though she and I both crushed on him, but I didn't realize that she'd crushed on him ... if she asked, I'd have willingly given him up).
They're really cute together. And that's a good thing.
Happy looks good on her.
And they both like me, which is nice. They'll both FB message me and tease each other. And it's pretty adorable. He's good for her. And she's good for him.

So, for Bucket, Bubbles, and my Girl's Night In (Bubbles fell asleep during the first movie), we watched Legally Blonde, While You Were Sleeping, and the Wedding Singer. Good times. It's nice that Bucket is willing to watch chick-flicks with me. Next time, I think I'll work towards getting her into costume-dramas (if I ever get Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea, that'll be a good start. If not, well, maybe Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day?).

My stepdad's dementia is not getting any better. Neither is my Nana's.
At least, though, with Nana ... if you're confused or something is flat out wrong, you can mention it to her and she'll be, "Oh. It's the dementia. Okay."
If you tried that with my stepdad, he's all, "NO. I'm right. I'm telling the truth. You're not remembering it right. I'm telling the truth!"
And ... well, that's not easy to live with. So I really need to look for a good place for Mom. Since there's going to be a time when she needs to be some place without someone trying to gaslight her.
(If we had another bedroom or two, it'd be FINE. Well, fine-ish.)

Okay. Time to head out to storytime. And run some errands.

I wish life came with an instruction manual.
I'll keep things together.
I mean, I have faith that everything WILL work out ... but I just wish that it was easier and that people didn't have to suffer in the meantime.
And that I had no responsibilities for a while, no bills, and a hole to curl up in for a good cry.
Since that's not going to happen, I have books. Books are good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wow, I suck at keeping this updated ...

Good thing you still love me, right?

I couldn't sleep last night.
I'm sure it had NOTHING AT ALL to do with the fact that I had two HUGE cups of Dr. Pepper when we went to McDonald's yesterday. (My mom came up, since it was a no-school day.)
Of course, after I finished the ebook I'd checked out on my library app, I checked our bank balance.
And FINALLY Michael's paycheck came through before any overdrafts (way to cut it close, right?) ...

Still, it was pretty frustrating, since he is supposed to get paid on the1st and the 16th ... and this is the NINETEENTH DAY of the month. I thought that direct deposits were, you know, scheduled in advance and all that  ... but, yeah, whatever.

I hate adulting sometimes.
Especially when you don't have tons of liquid assets (that you THOUGHT you'd have) the morning of your twins' birthday party.
(Good thing it was a small, family party ... They'll get together with friends ... sometime. Especially since one of their friends doesn't celebrate birthdays, so she couldn't come to a BIRTHDAY-thing ... but she COULD come to a playdate-thing, I'd hope.)

But, yes, tender mercies of the Lord: =No overdrafts. (phew.) We had cash that covered (and had some leftover) lunch for us, cake and ice cream and drinks (and plates, napkins, and cups). We had enough food in the house to cover meals without scrimping. Our bread wasn't moldy. The milk hadn't gone sour. (And, even if it HAD, Bubbles is still receiving WIC, so that's nice).

I came to a conclusion, which I wasn't thrilled about ...
Michael and I keep thinking about (someday) building our "dream home" and what we want in it.
We go about this VERY DIFFERENT WAYS.
His way = design a floorplan. Ask me if I like it and what I'd prefer to see. I waffle on the whole thing.
My way = Create a Pinterest board. On it exist NO floorplans. Rather, it's filled with ideas for decorating and organizing. Or cool ideas to integrate INTO rooms. Again, not what Michael had in mind when I told him about that board.

SO, as I was thinking (in the shower, since that's where I do my best thinking for the most part nowadays), I realized that a big reason that I haven't planned on designing actual SPACES (besides my crack spatial skillz /sarcasm) is because deep down, I'm scared that we'll never have the money to actually DO it. And that realization ticks me off, since it feels like, in a way, I'm doubting my husband and his ability to provide for us ... which is stupid. And I DON'T LIKE doing stupid things.

Last week, I was crap at studying (let alone READING) my scriptures. I need to do it. I KNOW I need it. I have a class to prepare for, let alone that it's a GOOD thing that we've been COMMANDED to do.
This week has been better so far.
After church, I holed up in our room for a couple hours -- changed the sheets, looked at the lessons to be covered, read through next week's Relief Society lesson, caught up in the BoM365 (read the Book of Mormon in a year) schedule ... It was nice. I felt productive.
Yesterday morning, since I wasn't in any rush to get dressed or whatever, I started looking through the lesson I'll be teaching in RS in a couple months (Originally, it was going to be lesson 5, about Joseph Smith. BUT, due to needing to reschedule things due to a Stake Broadcast added into the calendar, I'm now teaching the lesson about the Atonement and Resurrection. It's a great lesson (not that the JS one wasn't ... but I like this one a lot and am not at all upset that I get to teach it)) and I read a conference talk, since I do need to go through those a few times (I didn't highlight in my November Ensign yet. Later).

I do need to work on saying sincere prayers ... and having formal, little prayers ... as opposed to just little statements of gratitude or what I need. Prayer is more of a conversation with our Heavenly Father, so said our High Council speaker on Sunday. It's not like text messaging (that's what I'm telling myself).

I'm still having dreams, every so often, about that bestie who's dropped out of my life.
I mean, yeah, I still miss her. But ... well, in my dreams, she's always ignoring my presence or trying to actively avoid me. And, usually, I find her and tell her point blank that I still love her, that I miss her, that I hope for the best for her.

They're not the most happy-making of dreams. But, at the same time, I'm not sobbing or irate or whatever else when I wake up. So ... yeah.

I'm enjoying my new class of students (in church, you usually change classes based on your birth year. So, I have all the students who are starting 2016 as 12- or 13-year-olds. I had a lot of students (all but one, actually) during that last quarter of 2015 who had or would turn 14 before January 1st.
I miss my old class, yes ... but I'm having fun getting to know a new bunch (and making sure that I get everyone's names right).
The Sunday before (being the 10th), tradition continued ... in that I had another adult join my class (usually for observation. It's enough to make a girl nervous!). So far, I've had our Ward Sunday School President (who's a friend, so that's not so nerve-wracking), the STAKE PRESIDENT (a little more nerve-wracking, though I know him and I know that he's not scary ... You make a joke about going onstage in your nudie-pants, and realize that the Stake Prez is in the room and HAD to have heard you ... and you apologize ... and he tells you that it's okay ... Yeah, one has to admit to oneself that he's not going to be shocked by anything else you do. So that's out of the way. Yay?), a friend who was visiting your ward for the day (I practically dragged her to class, so I happily brought that upon myself), the bishop, one of the members of the bishopric, ... and now the STAKE SUNAY SCHOOL PRESIDENT (who I didn't know at all).
So that was kind of ... nerve-wracking.
But he said that I did fine.
In fact, my Ward Sunday School Prez reported to me on Sunday that (1) he didn't have anyone lined up to observe my class (That's fine. I told him. Next week. It's tradition!) and (2) that Brother ___ was impressed with my teaching.

So, that's nice. Because Brother ____ sure didn't have to say that. ^_^
I guess it's a good thing that I brought a handout for the class. And that I printed up strips with the scriptures to read on them. And that I tell my students about great resources to help their scripture study. Because if there's one thing I love (besides the gospel, since I do love it bunches. And my family, ditto), it's books. Or knowledge available on the interwebz.

I know there's more to report about. but my hands are tired of typing. I'll do more later.
But sooner than a month from now.

Counting ...

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