Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boo...

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Well, one of my favorite days of the year is upon us. The boys are dressed up for school, and I for work. J is Nemo (I don't know how anyone couldn't see that coming), and M is Curious George. I...well, I guess I am a nerd queen, which is like a beauty queen in the outfit (pretty dress, tiara, sash with my title), but the title is total nerd, or maybe it's pretentious or judgmental or condescending (depends on how you use it);>

Have no fear, pictures will be shared, although it may take me until later this week.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I used to get an allowance for this stuff...

Yesterday, after NS left to finish moving out of his old place, I mustered the resolve to clear out some more boxes...yes, I'm still unpacking. It's not weird to take 6 months to unpack, is it? I hope not because I might be able to finish just under that.

When he calls and finds out what I've been doing, he wonders why I only do this stuff when he's not there. While he was on duty Friday, I finally folded the few loads of laundry that had been done last weekend, and now, I'm unpacking stuff.

I figured out that it isn't that he makes me lazy as he suggested. Laziness overcomes me when he's not there, too, so it definitely isn't a result of his presence. I hate wasting precious time doing this stuff, though, when other people are around.

My house in FL was usually a virtual disaster because I'd rather spend my time with my children. While that is still sometimes true, they don't enjoy me as much as they used to, so the value of my not doing housekeeping tasks to hang with them is lost more often than not as I'm usually the mediator or the mess-preventer (trying to be anyhow). Now, if NS is home, then I can easily justify not doing laundry and dishes and unpacking (which usually just creates random piles of clutter because I can't find a place for everything that gets unpacked from a box but can get a general idea of where I want it to go or with what other unpacked clutter it should go) as wanting to spend the time relaxing with him.

Also, I despise squandering my weekends doing these things, but that is the only time I can really do them. I used to try to clean and pick up while the boys were sleeping at night or napping on the weekends (ha HA HHHHAAA...I know there used to be times that they did this regularly). The weeknight opportunities have become too risky since they don't always sleep in their room anymore. J will every once in a while, but I cannot recall the last night that M didn't sleep on the floor outside my bedroom door. The apartment is set up so that all front lighting floods the back as well, and I'd be pissed if someone was doing that crap while I was trying to sleep, so I refrain from doing it to him.

Basically, I do not enjoy cleaning or maintaining cleanliness. I absolutely love living in clean and tidy places, which is why I should enlist the services of a maid, I think, but I, of course, feel the need to have some type of order to my home before allowing some stranger to set foot in it. I've pondered this outsider cleaning idea before and wondered what I would want done only once a week or every other week.

Although I don't mind dusting, I rarely do it anymore because I'm stuck doing the other chore that I've hated for years but is far more important to me. Back in the days of high school, when my mom and I lived by ourselves, we had a fantastic cleaning arrangement. She hated dusting; I thought it was great. I hated vacuuming; she did not. We covered what the other hated and lived blissfully. Hmmm...maybe I can form this deal once again with NS;>

Bathrooms. If I never have to use bathroom cleaning supplies or hover my face over a toilet rim speckled with hair or urine (thankfully, NS has decent aim) or God knows what I can't see with my eyes, then I think that would make me quite happy.

I doubt paying someone to clean my bathrooms will be worth it to my finances right now, and I don't know what else I'd be willing to let go of. Laundry and dishes have to be done too often.

So, I guess I'll just have to get over it and try to remember how much nicer it is to come home to a dining table rather than an elevated collection of pictures and tools and clothes, to a floor rather than an obstacle course of toys and crayons and shoes and boxes and bags and M's bedding, to a kitchen counter rather than a storage shelf of boxes and pens and appliances...and lest I forget how much easier it is to get dressed when I actually know where all my clothing is rather than narrowing it down to a bag by the door or a plastic tub by the couch if I can't find it in my closet and can't remember having worn it recently for it to be in the hamper.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Charity or robbery...

NS called me as he was heading back to his car from eating lunch. We're just chatting when all of a sudden a guy starts talking to him. I hear most of what he's telling NS, and my mouth silently forms the words "what the hell is going on?!?"

What I hear is a male voice, seemingly proud, detail the story of how he murdered another man. Granted, the victim allegedly raped this guy's 6 year-old daughter, so I could understand where his rage came from, but he sounded a little too boastful as he recounted that he'd shot that man...6 times...in the chest, in the next breath asking NS if he wouldn't do the same.

What was the point of this? He wanted NS to donate a couple dollars in support of the Recently Released Convicts Fund for Hardee's Burgers, of course. The man actually showed NS his inmate ID, which just expired last week. So, the man has already admitted he's murdered once before and doesn't seem to be understanding the "I don't carry cash" explanation NS has given (seriously, who carries cash anymore??), how else could NS tell him "no"? Well, basically, he doesn't. He dumps all the change from his cup holder and hands it to the guy. Thankfully, he walked away without further harrassment.

Somehow, the scenario lends itself less to charity and more towards robbery, in my opinion.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My marketable quality...

Night before last, NS discovered my tickle-spots.

As a child I was incredibly ticklish, seemingly all over. Somehow, though, most of this ticklishness faded away, and I mistakingly proclaimed for several years that I was no longer ticklish at all. I believe it was some time during the high school years that my ticklishness was uncovered once again.

I am ticklish where my hips and pelvis meet, which is the area that encompasses my hip bones (or pelvic bones, I'm sure you know which ones I'm talking about) in addition to that crease that separates my thigh from my lower abdomen (extreme lower abdomen). Figuring this out has amused all that have found it, and honestly, it's never been found during what I'd consider to be sexually-charged situations, so I wouldn't chalk it up to that.

NS was no different; he has now found a source of endless entertainment. Apparently, I am fun to tickle. I laugh hysterically (sometimes squealing), my legs flail while my knees jerk up and down in attempt to protect me, and I squirm...this is amusing to other people, the tickler as well as anyone that may observe this torture.

It's not so much that I hate being tickled, I love to laugh (who doesn't?), but it takes a lot out of me. I'm usually breathless from having laughed so hard, and the squirming can sometimes result in injuries from having wiggled my way onto the floor or into the corner of a nightstand (ow...that hurt). I'm happy to have found my way of providing countless hours of enjoyment to others. Now if only I could market this without having to actually make my pelvis publicly available to touch, I'd call it Tickle-Me Woo-Woo;>

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A plausible explanation, still sad, though...

A little over a month ago, while I was on leave to recover from Baby Angel's birth, I received a call from the boys' daycare. It was a call to inform me of an incident between M and one of his teachers. M was the victim. The teacher had been observed by another teacher smacking M on the hand. I was informed that the teacher had been removed from the daycare and that a full investigation would be conducted. I wasn't sure how to react at the time and simply thanked her for the call; she had assured me that he was fine and that physical punishment was never permissible in their centers.

I never heard anything about what happened after that....until yesterday.

When I arrived to pick them up, I had a disheartening conversation with one of the boys' teachers about the recent biting incidents and generally more aggressive behavior he's been exhibiting. She and some of the other teachers had been discussing the situation surrounding M, and she shared some of their comments with me.

They all agreed that it was only after that incident with the teacher that M started acting more aggressive at school. You see, the biting is the most recent activity he's been engaged in, but he'd been acting differently at school for a few weeks now. She told me that she couldn't believe that the director wasn't more concerned with what might have caused his change in behavior instead of threatening to send him home. She also confided that the teacher that had been removed had been rehired at another of their centers in a neighboring city and that the incident with M was not the first of its nature to have been reported involving her.

One of the things I read yesterday as I struggled to figure out how to "fix" my baby was that biting can sometimes be a reaction to unhealed trauma. I guess that perhaps that is what this could be, especially since he has been acting differently at daycare, where the threatening behavior was demonstrated, than at home.

The teacher expressed her belief that it is never okay for them to discipline other people's children that way because they aren't close enough to them. She's heard of it being tolerable, with parental consent, in private settings where the child is extremely close to the daycare-provider, but that is simply not the setting they have in this daycare.

I can admit that when I first received that phone call, one of the first things that crossed my mind was what M had done to warrant the smack to his hand. M can focus his mind on doing something and then not listen to any reason he shouldn't; it can be a valuable quality to have as he strives towards independence, but sometimes that determination can place him in harm's way. In those instances, I confess that he has gotten a smack to the hand a few times in the past. I always said I would try any and all options before ever thinking about using physical discipline, and I still believe that's what I've done. I wasn't disciplining him in those instances, I was getting his attention because he had tuned me out and was putting himself at risk. But, since I had done this for what I accept to be a justifiable reason, I did not necessarily assume that it was not something similar that had happened when I was told about the incident at school.

I've also trusted that my boys saw other authoritative adults in their lives in the same way as me, and while it is nice to know I'm special to them in that way (as well as others, I'm sure), the different view M has of someone else in charge of him from me seems to have caused a change in his gentle nature. So, I'm sad about that and angry that I didn't question that incident further.

It crosses my mind more and more how much easier the infant year was. Things seemed more under my control back then...back when I could simply put them in swings or a playpen to take a shower while they were awake and not fear for what disaster I may find when I finished, when they could be coaxed into taking a two-hour nap (even at home on the weekends), when fixing a nutritious dinner was a matter of playing the role of a cow or mixing measured powder with water or opening some jars of baby food, when they couldn't really do anything that could get them into "trouble".

Well, it's only a couple hours shy of a full day with no calls from daycare about biting, so maybe the book did the trick afterall, and this can be put behind us as lessons learned;>

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A sad time for a mommy...

I'm not a very proud mama right now; in fact, I'm quite sad and disappointed. My usually sweet M has been biting other kids at his daycare. Three days in a row now, all different children. Two bites were hard enough to leave marks; today's was caught in time to prevent the mark, which does nothing to ease my overwhelming concern about this new behavior. I've been advised that if he leaves another mark, then I'll be called to pick him up, after which he'll have to remain out for at least the remainder of the day and up to a week, depending on the director's determination of severity.

He has apparently decided that he no longer wants to share toys since that has been the trigger for each of the episodes. I will have to try to find out what phrases are used for sharing to see if it is similar to what he's always heard about sharing with J. I remember reading some tips on sharing before the issue ever came up for them, and one of those was to not expect the word "share" to do the trick. That's a dirty word in the mind of a selfish toddler since they easily associate it with giving up their toys to some other kid. Instead, the advice is to encourage "taking turns" and actually make sure that the child gets his turn. So, that is what I have done, and it has worked really well. I give the child ample time to enjoy the toy and then tell him to give the other one a turn. Even if he complains about it, he will give the kid a turn and wait for his next turn...as long as he is told he will get one. For some things, we've even counted, like counting to 10 and then switching and then repeating that pattern. I was nearly crying yesterday when I picked them up and was told about his biting yet again. I just didn't know what I was going to do and couldn't understand why he has started doing this at daycare; even when he was miserably tired and unwilling to share at Popeye's birthday party on Saturday, he never gave a single indication that he was going to bite to defend his claim to the toy, which is what makes me think that maybe it is the approach to sharing that is used at daycare that is frustrating him right now.

Regardless of the reason and despite the fact it is "normal" for his age, I am ashamed of this unacceptable behavior and bought a book called, Teeth Are Not for Biting. We'll read it tonight, and hopefully, it will be the miracle cure that it was for some of the others that reviewed it on Amazon.

I've also ordered the other books in that series: Hands Are Not for Hitting and Feet Are Not for Kicking, because they have both done these things on occasion, as well as Words Are Not for Hurting, which will hopefully be a preemptive strike against some future incidents of name-calling;>

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm pretty sure candy and dairy is a balanced diet...

Since it was too cold and wet out to go to the local seafood festival yesterday as originally planned, I figured I should really go to the store to get some milk and dog food...and while I'm there, why not grab snacks and Halloween candy;>

As we near the end of our shopping trip, heading towards the registers, which seem so vacant for being the middle of Sunday afternoon (but, isn't that always the case?), I take notice of what my cart consists of. Besides the two toddlers taking up a fair amount of space, M's got a lap full of: a bag of dark russet potato chips, snack packs of Cheez-Its and Oreos, gallon of 1% milk, bag of peanut M&Ms (the pink ones to contribute to The Foundation), two bags of some kind of Halloween trick-or-treat candy, and a bag of candy corn. J? He's in the big part of the cart, surrounded by: Very Vanilla Silk soy milk (nothing's a better topping for Vanilla Creme Shredded Wheat or sweetly flavored oatmeals, like cinnamon & spice or maple & brown sugar), bag of pull-up training pants (with Velcro sides because the daycare insists they must have these), a box of white cheddar Cheez-Its, a bag of plain M&Ms (also the pink variety), another bag (maybe even two) of Halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters, a bag of pumpkin candies (you know the ones...made from the same stuff as the candy corn), a package of cookies to take to daycare for their party next week, a bag of blue corn tortilla chips, and a bag of shredded cheese...not to mention my stash of dark chocolate hidden behind the diaper bag, out of reach. The diapers and canned dog food were on the bottom of the cart.

That elderly, gentlemanly cashier and perhaps the people behind me in line, too, were probably wondering if these two boys were actually mine since they'd have to be bouncing of the walls and the ceiling with all that junk...surely I must be planning to send them home to their real mother with all that sugar in their systems just for my own amusement.

I know it must have looked awful even though very little of that was actually intended to be ingested by them. Besides, I'd done all my real grocery shopping last week...this week was to fill in the gaps with the stuff I've been craving all week;>

Could have gone a little better...

I took M and J to a birthday party on Saturday. Jomama's darling Popeye celebrated his first year! It's almost hard to believe that I actually met Jomama while she was still pregnant with him; the year passed so quickly, although some months seemed to drag their feet kicking and screaming for fear of being forgotten in the past.

We had a good time, although I came near to threatening my boys with no party because they were just not being good little boys that day...unfortunately, I really wanted to go, so I couldn't threaten with something I wouldn't follow through with. M acted like he'd never had to share a toy in his life even though he's had a twin brother for as long as he's been alive and has been in daycare with other children since he was 8 weeks old. I know he was mostly cranky because he was tired, but it wasn't one of his better days, which means it wasn't one of mine, either. I ended up having to rush them out the door before they totally lost it and didn't get to visit much.

On the plus side, the food was fabulous (cheers for Sam's Club, apparently), and Popeye seemed to have a great time;>

I'm weak, people...weak, I tell you

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Just reading the official site for NaBloPoMo has made me feel as though there is a gun being aimed at me, demanding that I publish a post every day next month.

No skipping days, or even weekends as I've been apt to do often...one post, every day, for all 30 days in November.

People not wanting to commit to posting once a day are encouraged to show support by "de-lurking" and putting a comment each day on a participant's blog.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It was all so effortless and easy...

I bought a "new to me" vehicle last night, a 2003 Acura MDX. I absolutely love it. It has all the bells and whistles and didn't cost me an arm and a leg...or even one of those limbs.

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The price was almost too good to be true (about $4,000 below KBB and/or NADA value) without having to haggle. I was offered the highest price I'd hoped to receive for my trade even though I'd revealed a range of what I'd be happy getting for it. The interest rate for the financing, while horrible, was in the ballpark of my expectations considering how the previous year and half's events severely damaged my credit rating, and so my monthly payment ended up in the lower end of my span of affordability for this car. All of that and the people at this location were a pleasure to deal with and very helpful, even complying with my request to take their vehicle home with me Tuesday night to make sure I really liked it, although I left them with nothing other than my information...no trade-in vehicle and no money.

So, I left the dealership last night feeling like I'd gotten a hell of a bargain but also feeling a little bit like I must have missed something since I didn't have to play any negotiation-tactic games or fight for what I wanted at all...that's kind of sad, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Massages, rubbing boobies, and cool pictures...

The company I work for had a women's health fair today. It was a great way to spend the morning. We all got an hour and half to go and look at the sponsors' displays and grab samples and freebies and get a flu shot if we wanted (the shots were offered to everyone, not just the women). Also on the list of activities:

* Flexibility testing (lower back) - I scored in the excellent range for my age bracket...more kudos for yogalates;>
* Bone density testing - I am not old enough for this, though.
* 10-minute massage - Oooooh, how wonderful. If only it could be a daily offering.
* Fake breasts to perform exams on - These were to aid us in what to look for during self-exams. There was one with no lumps, one with fibrocystic tissue, and another with some various-sized lumps. Holy crap...this scared the begeebus out of most of us. Trying to find all the lumps in the one that had lumps was next to impossible. My fingers hurt from pressing hard enough so that I could find the pea-sized one. And the one with fibrocystic tissue...it is already super-dense, trying to find a lump in that thing seems like it would be a futile effort. So, I'm definitely going to continue to support finding the cure for breast cancer; if we could manage to eliminate it so that worrying about whether or not you'll be able to find a lump would be totally unnecessary, that would be fabulous. So, I bought a couple pair of cute socks with pink ribbons on them;>
* Pictures to reveal sun damage on your skin - This wasn't as bad for me as I had anticipated since I was once a devout sun-worshiper. The summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I spent a couple hours every day outside without the slightest SPF protection...stupid, I know, but at the time I wasn't worried about skin cancer and figured I'd just be a tanned, wrinkled lady as I got older instead of a pale, non-wrinkled one. I have mild sun damage, concentrated on my nose and forehead. I am now a pale-skinned embracer, so maybe the damage won't worsen too much over time.

I started to feel a bit guilty about the massages we got. I wonder if they offer a men's health fair with free massages...I doubt it since I don't envision men lining up to read displays about prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction, and I don't foresee the bribe of a 10-minute, non-erotic massage helping at all.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Quite possibly the world's most perfect drink...

While exploring the options with my recent discovery of the greatness of white tea, I found a variety that also contains pomegranate.

Now, this just may be the most ideal health drink ever made because not only is white tea better than green tea, but pomegranate is better than green tea, too (possibly also better than white tea), so the combo of white tea and pomegranate should give me everlasting life as far as I can tell;>

Really, though, I think maybe this new tea kick I've been on may have contributed to the bleeding issues during the tattoo more so than the tequila since one of the best benefits of white tea, green tea, and pomegranate is their purported ability to prevent unwanted clots that put strain on your heart. I doubt that the stuff differentiates too much on the clotting episodes...flow to the heart, needle grazing beneath the skin above the ankle, whatever, just keep the blood flowing.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Weekend, middle and finale...

I arrive at GA Girl's room at the hotel around 9 pm, which was the time written on the invitation. It seems as though it may just be the two of us with the bride-to-be and another friend, E. We wait and wait. GA Girl attempts to track down E and the bride-to-be, no luck. We take out all the stuff she's going to be forced to wear for this event and decide what we'll each wear should she not show up at a reasonable time. She finally gets ahold of the groom-to-be around 1030 and finds out it'll be about another half hour before we see them. So, they show up, and we dress her up nice and purty before heading out;>

front
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back
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The first place we see that seems to be open is a billiards hall. We pass the parking lot a couple times and end up parked on the street. Once inside, we all decide what we want to drink. No one has decided on beer, but the place only serves beer...phooey. But, the bartender tells us about a place across the street that has liquor to serve, so we leave to embark on a search for tequila and vodka across the street.

We find the place, but it seems very closed. There was a seafood festival going on this same weekend, which was just closing down at this point, so GA Girl decides to ask someone if they know of an open bar. They direct us around the corner to the back room of the same place, which is very much so open. We walk in without anyone even attempting to check IDs. We make a zig-zag beeline to the back where the bar is to order our first round. Because this seems to be the only bar open in this area, the place is a bit crowded, and the four of us end up stuck in the back corner...not that it was a bad place to be since we basically secured a cozy spot next to the bar and didn't have to fight our way in to order drinks;>

Let's just say that this town in NC must be scarcely populated because they had all the classics of a small redneck town: men with barely any teeth, those that don't seem to have seen women they aren't related to in a while, and not much diversity (if you get what I'm sayin').

E makes the mistake of asking one of those guys that hasn't seen a woman he's not related to in a while to sign T's willie shirt. He had already been loitering nearby in our corner, staring at us, and now he's been encouraged by one of the "insiders". He signs her shirt and then talks to us a little bit. At some point he asks what kind of shoe I have on. My pants weren't terribly long, but I was still wearing some heels, which shouldn't have been terribly hard to see since the pants weren't that long. Oh well, I lift my foot up a bit so he can see the shoe. This man actually leans over and reaches out and tries to remove the shoe from my foot. Thankfully, it doesn't slide off easily and the other girls quickly dissuade him from trying any harder. Before deciding that he should leave us alone because we are thoroughly filled with heebie-jeebies by him being so close, he feels compelled to tell me that I am a very beautiful woman. Thanks. Somehow it doesn't hold much value coming from him, not to mention the fact that he was drunk, and I'm sure we are all aware of how stellar the judgment of a drunk is;>

An older gentleman (loose interpretation of that term) with maybe four teeth or so attempts to speak to us. Even after a few tries on his end, none of us decipher any of what he said into words.

We amuse ourselves for a while before the DJ finds us, including GA Girl drawing a lovely representation of the groom-to-be's willie on T's shirt.

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E ends up doing a karaoke duet with some random stranger...decent enough guy, though, since he was the only guy to buy us a round of drinks like the DJ instructed the men in the bar to do.

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All in all we had a great time: T, E, and I drunk as hell (GA Girl was the DD...you know we love her to pieces;>) with less than $100 spent and leaving as the bar was closing.

Apparently T tossed her headband on the drive back to the hotel, and I snatched it up and brought it back to my room, although I do not recall this. I remember peeing after I got back to the room and managing to strip down to my second layer of clothing before climbing on top of the bed. NS woke up around 4 or 5 to use the facilities himself and stumbled across blinking penises (probably not the correct pluralization, but I don't really care...it's the best one) and finding me passed out in much less clothing than I usually sleep in and on top of the covers, which is just completely absurd since I generally freeze in temperatures below 79 degrees. He told me the next morning about this and that he asked me if I was cold. My reply: "God, yes, I'm freezing." So, he promptly tucked me safely under the warmth of the sheets and blankets;>

We all go to breakfast in the morning. T and E had regurgitated most of their tequila the night before. I was still holding up well besides a headache, probably because I had eaten so well before we had so much fun. That lasted until I found myself downwind from E's morning cigarette. I immediately began feeling less than okay and ended up getting rid of some bile churning in my stomach before we made it across the street for breakfast. I felt better as we sat there...until I caught a whiff of some other smokers' morning cigarettes. That sent me in a rush to the bathroom, where my body apparently felt I should not be carrying around so much liquid and stomach acid.

T wasn't able to make it through breakfast, but I ate some of what I ordered, and the others ate the majority of theirs. GA Girl and E went back to the room with T; NS and I went to hang out in our room until wedding time. I fell asleep during a movie I wanted to see despite having been incapable of nodding off during a show that I had already seen a couple nights before. The headache seemed to be gone after the nap, though, so I was feeling good. It came back a bit after my shower, but some Pamprin after the wedding ceremony knocked that out.

The wedding was very nice. I'll refrain myself from cracking jokes about how late the bride (along with her entire bridal party since they were with her) was for the event because the remainder of the evening was lovely.

Before we'd gone out for the bachelorette party, GA Girl, E, and I decided we should get tatoos after the wedding. It's been some kind of tradition in our circle of friends for someone to get tattooed post-ceremony, although this is the fist time I've been a participant (my others have been gotten under different circumstances). So, after going back to the hotel to change into more appropriate inking gear, the three of us find the closest tattoo place, which as it turns out is the only place nearby. We've all got issues: GA Girl is looking for a cover-up of a lizard she's been disappointed with, I'm looking for a butterfly that will mesh well with my other tattoos (which is not likely to be one just hanging on the wall), E isn't sure what she wants in a tattoo but doesn't want it to be too expensive (and they weren't allowed to pierce her other nipple, which she would have been happy to have done). GA Girl finds an awesome new lizard to cover the one she isn't so fond of, and I find a couple different butterfly pictures that are transformed into exactly what I wanted; E finds a great Celtic tattoo, but it is over her budgeted price with no negotiating allowed. GA Girl seems much more pleased with this lizard; I think he's pretty damn cool, too. The tattoo artist had some weird idea that I'd been drinking the night before because I was bleeding pretty bad. The bleeding didn't make it hurt any worse and it still looks good, so I guess it didn't matter too much.

As sad as it was that I waltzed right out of the hotel room without my camera before we left for the wedding, I made sure to have it for the tattooing;>

GA Girl's new lizard
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My new butterfly
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I feel like this is my last tattoo, but GA Girl doesn't buy it. I think I may alter or touch up some of my others (I have one on my upper back that desperately needs to be redone, and I may add on to the one on my breast in honor of more children since that is what the two daisies there currently represent), but I can't see myself putting a completely new tattoo anywhere else. I guess only time will tell, though.

I stroll back into the room around 2, which awakens NS (I don't think he was in deep sleep, though). I show off my pretty butterfly; he tells me it's cute; we sleep soundly until morning.

We grab breakfast/brunch/lunch (meal change at the Golden Corral) with the bride, groom, E, and GA Girl before getting on the road. On the drive back home, we hear the most awful song I think I've ever heard, but I could not stop crackin' up. I mean, if I was a snorting type of laugher, I would have had trouble breathing because I was laughing so hard that I would surely have been hyperventilating. Instead, I am the kind of laugher that has a silent laugh when it's really strong and that has tears forming in the outside corners of my eyes that then stream down my cheeks...and that is exactly what was happening in the car as I listened to "Chicken Noodle Soup (with a soda on the side)." I was basically hysterical with laughter, my body shaking a little, too, so that I was half-sliding down the seat. NS got the song from his roommate on Monday, so we got to listen all over again;> Now, we've just got to track down that "Fried Chicken" song dr. jeeeol says rivals this monstrosity.

By the way, the return trip was just as quick as the trip down and without incident.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I guess I can only hope that this is really the right thing to do...

IFKAMH called last night to speak to M and J. They were eating dinner and watching t.v., so they paid no attention to the voice on the phone. After he finished talking at them, he asked me what we were going to do. I requested clarification for such an odd question. He said he wants to be part of their lives, but it's hard because of the distance and other circumstances. I explained that those are places he put himself and that I have never prevented him from being able to be involved in their lives. I then also explained that I think it has been too long for him to reappear now. He said that he wants to be there because he loves them. I told him that I'm sure he does love them, he'd be crazy not to, and that I'm sure he regrets what he did, he'd be insane not to, but that doesn't mean that his trying to reenter their lives now is a good idea. I tried to help him understand that this is not about what he wants, or even what I want...it's about what is best for M and J. I tried to help him understand that they really do not know who he is at all. I told him that I cannot prevent him from seeing them, although I think it will cause more harm than good because he has been out of their lives for over half the time they've been alive and that they simply don't know him as their dad. I said that I thought what was best at this point is for him to realize that he made some very poor choices in handling this situation and to live with that and allow M and J to decide when they want to reacquaint themselves with him. Almost everyone agrees that my thoughts on this subject are in my boys' best interest, but it doesn't make it any less difficult for me to truly accept that I really am not being selfish about this, somehow convincing myself that it is what is best for them rather than what is easy for me, but I suppose questioning my motives could be a sign that I am doing the right thing. It just seems like he's had long enough to step up and be the kind of dad they deserve, and since he has continued to fail even after countless opportunities, he shouldn't get to make that decision any more.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Weekend, part 1...

NS and I went to NC over the weekend for a wedding. I went to work for a few hours Friday morning then left to go to a couple places and get stuff I still needed for the trip...and proceeded to get soaked from rain, which slowed so much just as I finished that you'd wonder how I got so wet in the first place. After that, I went back to the apartment to finish packing my girly essentials, like a hair dryer and other styling products, as well as just plain essentials, like bathing and teeth-brushing stuff, and washed dishes before driving to NS's place.

Now, the directions I had printed tell me this 221-mile trip is expected to take 5 hours and 39 minutes...how is that possible?!? Well, it actually doesn't; we make it from his place to the hotel in just about 4 hours, stopping for lunch and gas/restrooms on the way. It wasn't like we were driving so fast, either. The speed limit was 55 mph nearly the entire time, and we rarely even broke 70 because it was raining or at least wet most of the way. Traveling at 55 mph for 221 miles is only 4 hours, so I am confused as to how the driving directions from both Google and Yahoo place this trip at nearly 6 hours. Anyway, besides just the discrepant timeframe, the directions are just flat-out terrible. How many times do I really need to read to continue down the same road? Continue on 17. Continue on 17-S. Continue on 17-BYP. Bear R on 17-S BYP. Continue on 17-N. Trust me, these steps were completely useless and unnecessary. We never noticed if or when 17 was changing from S to N (supposedly) or when we were "bearing" one way or another to "continue" on 17. The overly detailed description of the road we were on just made me worry that we'd beared the wrong way since the road didn't seem to change as the directions claimed it should have. I can understand if the road's name changes, such as North Road to Main Street to Box Boulevard, but not when it is just the highway number you're following the whole trip. Please just tell me to continue on 17 for 90 miles before putting where I'm supposed to turn instead of telling me 14 times which 17 I should continue on. Despite all that, we didn't miss any turns, and the turns were where they were supposed to be, although the hotel was a little farther than the directions indicated, in my opinion, which is probably why I originally had us stopped at the wrong Comfort Inn;>

So, we made it there safely and the rain basically stopped shortly after we got checked in to the hotel and settled in the room. We ate dinner at a Japanese steakhouse. It was terrific. I believe this particular one had the largest portions of any that I've been to before. The sushi was 6 or 8 pieces per order, and we both had about 3 pounds of rice each with the meal. The soup was perfectly seasoned, and the ginger dressing was yummy (still not as good as the Kobe's in FL, though). The chef even did a trick I haven't seen done before, and it was highly entertaining. While cutting the tails off the shrimps for the shrimp cocktail appetizers, he flung one of the tails across the room and onto the hibatchi grill of another chef. It was so unexpected and hilarious, even more so when the other chef launched it back over to our's and the two continued the shrimp tail toss for a few more rounds. So, I am nice and full for the bachelorette party planned for that night...

More when I can post pictures;>

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It may be a lost cause...

I never did disclose the outcome of that plan to promote a tolerance of the Y ChildWatch room for M and J, the plan that involved me spending time in there with them and then trying to leave them in there for a little while and then take them swimming afterwards. Um, well, simply put: plan did not work.

NS and I went to the Y Saturday morning. As soon as we approached the playroom, M cowered into NS's shoulder as though we were delivering him to terrorists that would torture his beloved puppy with daily washings and refuse to read the Curious George stories at bedtime. We decided to just take a walk to the back of the Y where there is a Youth and Family room. I had mistakenly believed there were some things in that room to entertain smaller children, but there's only a few pool tables. At least, I think that's all there is...M declined to go in that room as well, in his toddler-ranting sort of way. We then thought about trying the basketball court; it was practically empty. "No" is what I believe M's shrieks were trying to convey about that idea. So, it isn't just the playroom, but it isn't exactly all the Y rooms, either.

I figured we would just go with the swimming idea after all the others had failed so miserably. The locker room? No problem at all. The pool? Not a single issue; in fact, we were in there for about an hour.

I wish I knew what it was that he hated so much about the other rooms. I'm more than a little baffled by his reactions.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Some things just aren't easy...

There are some things that are just hard for me to do, including:

* Sharing things that are a result of my attempts at creativity and accepting compliments about those things as genuine, like scrapbooks or jewelry.
I think this may be because they almost never turn out the way I imagined they would, and even if it still seems great to other people, I find it difficult to accept that.

* Asking for help.
I really don't know why this is an issue for me. Maybe it has something to do with having to be fairly independent and self-sustaining when I was younger, when it was just my mom and me. Maybe I somehow believe that if I can't do everything for myself, then I've done something wrong. All I know is that I hate using the phrase, "Can you do a favor for me?", which causes me to feel the need to dole out multiple "thank you"s for things that are probably not a bother at all for other people to help with.

And the one that inspired this post...
* Initiating sex, or being the aggressor.
Whatever you want to call it, it's next to impossible for me to follow-through with. I come up with plans and ideas of how I'll do it but then chicken-out, like something awful will happen. That something awful, in my mind anyway, is rejection. That unlikely (and probably slightly irrational) possibility awakens a deep fear in me, and I can't bring myself to do anything more than a notch above ultra-subtle. I can't fully blame the situation with IFKAMH for this out-of-whack fear of rejection I harbor because I had it with him, too...unfortunately, I do think it has gotten worse since him. This subject came up between NS and I last night, and although I don't think he knew because it was dark and I wasn't really looking at him, it made me cry. It made me cry because it wasn't the first time I've heard those words (even though NS did a better job of saying it than IFKAMH ever did), yet because I was crying I couldn't actually tell him that or explain why I have trouble with this....damn it, I'm crying now. I have got to get over this, not only because it really is unfair for him to always be the one to inititate but because I need to be able to demonstrate that I trust him not to hurt me...even if it's just to myself.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

mmmm...Tea is good for you

After being thoroughly coerced by Snapple's green tea commercials' taunting of EGCG, I decided last week that I would try to find this stuff. I didn't try very hard before giving up (one convenience store and one grocery store...and in reality the grocery store search was just an afterthought), so I tried a diet Lipton green tea with mixed berry flavoring instead. Let me just say that I will no longer attempt consumption of diet drinks. Each time I've had one recently, I nearly gag and have the urge to spit it out, but usually someone has been nearby and would probably not enjoy having the diet-tea-fused-with-saliva concoction spewed at them simply because my taste buds have an aversion to artificial sweeteners. I wish they would actually sell these teas prepared and bottled without sweeteners at all; they do it for black tea, so why force sweetness upon the teas that have a naturally less potent flavoring...I just don't get it. Anyway, needless to say, I will not be purchasing diet tea again;> I know that they are undoubtedly wonderfully tasty to those that have an acceptance, or even a tolerance, of artificial sweeteners, but they are just not for me.

In my limited quest to find the Snapple green tea, I found some Snapple white teas, three to be exact. I purchased one bottle of each: nectarine, raspberry, and apple. By far the apple was my favorite. These teas, however, are still sweetened (with sugar), just less so than most other commercially sweetened teas. I did a little googling and found that the white tea is really the better way to go anyhow as far as tea health benefits are concerned, and since I preferred the white tea's flavoring anyhow, I'm hooked.

I bought some pear-flavored white tea that is just divine. It's what I will probably drink all day at work in addition to my normal staple of water. Of course, if yesterday is any indication of how this new liquid dream will fare with my bladder, I'll be spending more time in the ladies' room than at my desk;>

Monday, October 02, 2006

How slim are the chances...

That someone in your office hears you on the phone saying:

"I can't do that."
(pause)
"Because it's just not appropriate at work."

And doesn't think it's something obscenely raunchy???

I think those are some slim to none chances even though I was actually just responding to a request to shout into my cellphone in order to be heard;>

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Started off dreary...

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I had planned to take M and J to the Neptune Festival this morning to see what kind of booths they had set up with artists and food and such as well as the sandsculpting competition. It did not start out to be a good day, weather-wise. It was drizzling off and on during our whole drive and even as we pulled into a parking space, but it cleared up within an hour of us being there. We ate some DQ to kill a lot of that overcast hour;>

M eating his cup of soft-serve, which he found to be very yummy
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J enjoying his treat, which resulted in an ice-cream mustache
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I'm pretty sure we missed the actual sandsculpting competition, but there was some remains of the effort left for viewing. There was a sign that said the record was broken with this accomplishment, which is 37'9" tall.

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It was truly an amazing site to see. There were turtles, a starfish and a sandollar, seahorses, a giant ray, and an almost equally large fish...along with a lot of other details that you might be able to see in the pictures.

While I was waiting to snap shots of the sand wonder, some chic with a sash (there were a lot of them, and I'm not sure what the sashes said, but probably had something to do with the Neptune Festival if I had to guess) gave M and J metallic beaded necklaces. M got to work putting his necklace on his ducky while J dolled up his Nemo. The results...

A rather darling ducky
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And a quite lovable Nemo
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J was caught giving himself metallic blue eyes, and then they started tangling themselves into the necklaces. I was also instructed to take puppy's picture as well as Nemo's. And, even though the day didn't start out looking like we would be able to have any fun here, it was a good time.

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