Thursday, January 12, 2012

When Is It Absolutely Neccesary To Take Down The Xmas Trees?

 I love putting up the tree. I dread taking it down. Everyone is so excited to help putting all the ornaments on, etc. No one seems to be available to help with the dismantling and putting away.

How long till I stop noticing it?

I was very relieved tonight on my final dogwalk of the day to see a few trees still up with the lights on.  I'll worry about when I don't see any. Or it's Saint Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I HATE Homework

I am not naturally a very calm person. Having a lot of energy and moving/thinking a hundred miles an hour has served me well in many areas of my life. Mothering, not so much.  Especially at homework time.  Amazing how children can focus so seriously on tv, yet become so distracted while doing math homework that it is like having a circus with a candy-gifting clown in the kitchen with us when it is time for subtraction.
Last night I was so calm when the whining began. I ignored it and spoke softly. I was the perfect mother, who if filmed had the soft filter and gentle smile.  2nd grade math took almost an hour, but we all came through to the other side happy.

Tonight I was like a completely different person.  I admit that I am tired and have a bad cold, but I still need to be that caring, nurturing, calm and perfect mom. Right?  RIGHT?! Aagghh!! (head spins around, Exorcist-style)

What is it about homework that turns my children into whining messes who just about bang their heads on the table and throw themselves on the floor instead of actually figuring out what 6-4= is?  What is it that makes me grit my teeth because I feel like screaming? (Why do children spend more time whining and complaining about something than it would actually take them to do it?)

Know why I hate homework? It's because it is done at the end of the day when everyone is tired and ready to turn his/her brain off for a while.  E gets off the bus at 4:30 and goes to bed at 8:00. She deserves to play and decompress after being in school for 7 hours. She needs to have a family dinner. She needs to have a bath with her toys. She needs her favorite bedtime story and a quiet snuggle.  She's 7.  I think that it is alot to expect a 2nd grader to do 2 pages of math, read to me or herself for 20-30 minutes a day, and do some page relating to spelling each and every day, plus use a math-game website for at least 20 minutes a day. She is tired. She is not an overscheduled child who plays 14 sports and is tutored 17 times a week, she is just average.

She just hits a wall, just like an adult does.  People may suggest that she do her homework as soon as she gets home from school, but I just can't do it.  We are in Michigan, so this time of year it gets dark so early, plus we eat dinner at about 5:30 or 6:00.  I need to take a break after a long day of work, so why shouldn't my children? I don't want them to be coddled, God knows I probably don't baby them enough, but I really do resent all the homework.  I think that it is unneccesary and just pushes too hard.

I want my children to be well educated and prepared for life, but what happened to being children for as long as possible?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Started Running Again. Sort of.

  Ok, so per the Blogher 365 Day blogging challenge I am blogging every day in 2012.  Today I went and got Vitamin D and Vitamin K at Whole Foods. I also started running again. Should have taken the vitamins AFTER running.  Just saying.
  Tomorrow I will rant and rave about why it is ok that I am embarressed about my son (10) and husband (46) watching WWE together, yet it is so ok that I watch "Real Housewives About Beverly Hills" like a religion and see no irony/conflict in those 2 statements.

3 min run/2 min walk x 6. Nausea that I blame on the vitamins and cold. (But don't really belive it, even it is Michigan.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Proof I Really Need to Be Just Running Running

I had my third bone-density test in 9 years today. Wow, not good. I'm only 44, but I had a hysterectomy 9 years ago, and my bones are paying the price.  I have barely run or exercized in the past year, and even though I eat well and take good care of myself I have osteoporosis in my hips and spine. Seriously?!

Yes, I have been taking estrogen, but a low dose because of all the fuss about HRT.  I should have done more research and taken a higher dosage, but I was afraid.  It's really overwhelming when you start reading/asking questions.  OK, time to do something about it, not just feel badly.

I am having anxiety about this, but of course anxiety is apparently bad for your bones, too.  I would go sit out the sun for the vitamin k, but I live in Michigan, where it seems that the sun is useless for that except between April and September.  Plus, it's 18 degrees out right now...

Time to get my butt back on the treadmill if it's too cold or icy and use those handweights sitting next to it.  I've never really worried about my weight, lucky that way, so I just exercised when I felt like it.

OK, guess I should use my reserved spot in the New York Marathon (enter the lottery for a spot for 3 years in a row and you're automatically in when the 4th year rolls around) and start training.  Sigh. I do love to run and feel so good when I do it regularly- need to remember that.  Time to get excited about training again and not obsess about having worse bones than my 70 year old mother...

How are YOUR bones?

Monday, January 2, 2012

An Old Sewing Machine

   My grandmother died on December 22, the other week, just 2 days before my 44th birthday.  It was not a huge surprise, she'd been put in hospice care the previous week and was 95, but it just broke my heart.  She was my last surviving grandparent, I lived with her for a while, and I credit all of my talents to her and her sisters.  I volunteered to write something for her memorial service this coming Saturday, but I just don't know where to start.  She taught me to sew, what I do pretty much every day and for my own business, not to mention my sanity, and she is probably the reason I love pink so much.  When she first sold her house and moved into assisted living I made it a point to wear pink every day for a really long time.  It was her favorite color, especially in flowers.
  I remember the feel of the velvet of the couch in her living room in Texas.  I remember the blades of grass in her backyard, almost double, and I can't remember the name of it.
  There was a pull-up bar on one of the big trees back there that my grandfather used. It was grown into the tree.
  When my grandparents celebrated their 50th anniversary with a party at their church I wore her wedding dress, that she made.  It is white and has tiny buttons all the way down the front and a little train.  She was taller than I am, so the waist is at least an inch lower than it should be.  I have that dress in a closet upstairs, and the original pattern is in my studio downstairs.
  The room that used to be my mom's and my aunt's had really soft blankets and sheets with really big butterflies and little dressing tables built into the wall.  My parents used to sleep in there when we all visited, but when my brother and I lived with them for a while it was my room.  It was right next to the pink-tiled bathroom that had these little houses that they brought back from vacations in Bermuda.  I thought that it was so exotic that they'd go on vacation and have to fly through the Bermuda Triangle to get where they were going.  Those little houses had pink roofs.  The room with the butterfly blankets had a table with one of those pop-up sewing machines.  My grandmom taught me to sew on that.  It was green.  She was an amazing quilter, actually did most of her sewing by hand, but we made a beautiful white eyelet dress for a junior high dance on that machine. It had pink ribbon woven through it and Brooke Shields was the model for the pattern photo.  I thought I would deep the dress forever, but it must have gotten lost during one of my many moves through all those years.
  Today my aunt, my mom's sister, emailed me to tell me that my grandmother's next door neighbor in Texas bought her old sewing machine, the one she taught me to sew on, because she "didn't want it to be sold to a stranger."  She had a new one and never used it, but she bought it anyway. She still has it and will be on it's way to me later this week.  I don't care if it's hokey sounding, but that makes me happier and calmer than I can put into words.  Maybe I'll just write about sewing.  The minister will have to read it thought, because I am pretty much known as a big cryer.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Phasing Out the Crazy

   Happy New Year! I am not a big one for New Year's resolutions, but I do believe in it being a good time to take stock and remind myself of what is working and what is not in my life and if I am truely living it the way that I want to live.   One thing that I have gotten myself sucked into during the past year is a bunch of craziness and drama.  I take responsibility for that, as I have not put my foot down or refused to get involved, but honestly, sometimes I just do not know how.  I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings, I want to be supportive, or I just do not want to make waves.  I admit, I can be a bitch at times, but when confronted with a friend or family member's constant drama I just do not know what to do.  It is easy to tell someone else to just draw the line or refuse to engage, but it is much harder to actually do yourself.
   There is a person in my life who has a reoccurring issue with prescription drugs.  She is not a close friend or immediate family member, but being married to an extended family member means that I do see her fairly regularly.  When she is not too stoned to show-up at family functions, of course, though she does arrive slurring and babbling,when she does come.  It has gotten to where no one is ignoring it anymore, which took a ridiculously long time (years and years), but now that it is pretty much out in the open she has decided that I am the one that she wants to confide in.
  By confide, I mean calling/texting me multiple times a day but never being available when it I am able to talk.  Or trying to pull me aside at family get-togethers to talk. By talk, I mean make excuses and blame everyone but herself.  I honestly do not know how to handle it.  A few years ago I stepped in and insisted that she get help, and it backfired.  No one else said a word, and I ended-up being the bad guy.  That's ok, it's about trying to get her help, not about me, but I just do not want to do that again.
   I am just afraid to tell her that while she says that she is going to meetings, etc, she still needs to not make excuses and blame her doctors, her pain, etc, for her abuse of drugs.  I want to tell her that she needs to talk to a shrink, not her sister-in-law, that it is just too uncomfortable of a situation.  I feel badly for her because she seems to have no one. Her mother won't deal with it, her husband is at the end of his rope, and she seems to have driven all of her friends away. It is exhausting and draining.
   I know that this afternoon she will try to take me away from the get-together and cry about how no one is supporting her and how her doctors are to blame, etc, and I will be a deer in headlights.  I need to tell her that I called her yesterday exactly when she told me would be a good time, that she didn't answer or call me back, and that this is not an apropriate time to talk.  I need to tell her that I want to be supportive but I am not comfortable being her confidant because of our husbands being brothers. I need to tell her that I am proud of her for attending meetings and encourage her to see a therapist.  I know that she will get upset, and I just have a hard time with that. I don't want her to feel alone, but I cannot be the one responsible for her. I just can't do it.