Wednesday, March 31, 2010


OK.  I'm going to do something I promised myself I'd never do.  I'm going to rant, rave, complain and downright bitch about someone or something that I know has the address to this blog and knows who I am.
I'm so tweaked by this that I just don't care at the moment.  I can't ensure that this will make any sense or be coherent to anyone.  I apologize, but I've got to get this off my chest.

It has been over a week and a half since we figured out that we have bedbugs and that Gak told our landlady.  Everything that I've done, has amounted to only pissing the damn things off.  It's only a matter of time before they move into the rest of the apartment.  And there is just about nothing I can do to fix even a small part of it.  This will require a profesional and probably well over $1500, I'm betting closer to $3000 because of the age and size of this building.
When Gak told our landlady last week about this, the first thing she said was that we brought them in. Pardon me, but WHAT??? What part of there was a problem on the 3rd floor in October don't you understand.  What part of you didn't even have the exterminator inspect our apartment, let alone spray.  What part of these are harder to kill than roaches and there's nothing between the two floors other than about a 12-18" air space.
Of course, she also said that we'd have to pay for the exterminator.  Uh, I don't think so.  I could see paying for it if it was our fault, like if it was an ant infestation because our kitchen was a health hazard to everyone in the county.  But this is a direct result of her hiring the cheapest and laziest contractors she can find.  I'm not even going to go into that whole rant.... that would take hours in and of itself.  (It took her just shy of 2 months to get the main light in the kitchen fixed.... this is just one small example....)
I mean, if she doesn't take care of this, eventually they will find their way into her office and make her and her employees lives an itching hell.  The only positive thing is that they don't transmit any diseases, just make you itch like crazy.  Well, that and so far they haven't appeared in the rest of the apartment.
I mean, sure, if you want to quibble about who's paying for the exterminator that's one thing, but this is a health hazard and you get it taken care of and then fight over it.  But no, it's up to us to call.  It's up to us to pay.  I'm sorry, I'm renting partially because I DON'T have a spare couple of thousand dollars lying around.  Oh, and yes, it does say in the lease "Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety." under landlord obligations.  And yes, I would consider this a health issue.  Everything I've read says that the landlord (or landlady in our case) is responsible for pest control.  Gak's talked to a couple of other landlords he knows (from work) and they said they'd have taken care of it in an instant and that you have to take care of the whole building.
And, why would we have to pay for the exterminator when I'm pretty sure the upstairs people didn't have to back in the fall and we have them now because of their infestation and the half-assed job done by the exterminator (and our landlady, I blame her... if she'd hired a good and honest guy and not been cheap, she would have known and, hopefully, taken care of the whole damn thing back then).  And I doubt the job done in the fall was even half-assed.  I'm guessing that this isn't a "treat it once" kind of deal.  I'm about 99% sure that this will require many, many treatments over several months, if not a couple of years, to ensure that this has been taken care of and won't come back any time soon.

I'm so paranoid that I'm going to wake up one morning and Boo will be covered in bites.  I'm terrified of accidentally taking this into the daycare.  I'm terrified of taking this in to work.  I don't feel clean any more, I haven't in a week.  I'm kicking myself and realizing that I should probably just throw out about $60 or $80 of yarn that was either in my bedroom or that I brought into the house today to make a sweater and booties for my cousin Ben's son who was born last Saturday (and who's Bris we're going to this Saturday).  The whole thing makes me sick.  I'm just glad I haven't brought the new sheets or mattress pad cover into the house yet. I've got a call into Andy to see if he has another bed frame floating around in the barn that we can have as I just want to spray this one, repeatedly and often, haul it out of here and burn it to the ground.  Of course, I won't do anything with that until we've got everything else out of the apartment.

I really don't want to do it, but I'm thinking that I'll be taking some vacation ASAP and moving.  I'm not even sure if I care that it'll cost us more and be more inconvenient to us.  I don't want to move, but I don't know if we can stay here, if only for Boo.  I do know that when we do move, I'm going to be getting rid of a LOT of things, as much as I don't want to.  Not only are we going to have to move, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to get a new sofa (not going to risk it) and about 60% of a new wardrobe.  (Of course, I'm half hoping part of that will be because I'll have shrunk out of most of mine....)

So, yeah, I'm pissed.  I'm ticked.  I'm downright furious.  This post doesn't even begin to cover what I'm feeling.  But, it's after 9:30 and I've got one more day of work yet this week.  I am looking forward to the weekend, if only because we're going to my newest cousin's Bris and we get to see Michelle on Sunday.  Hopefully I'll have more happy things to write after this weekend and pictures to share.

Peace to all and may your landlords be reasonable and your problems small.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weekend Quandries

Well, this has been an interesting weekend.  Somewhat frustrating, somewhat fun and too short in general.

First, let me get my whining out of the way.  I want my bed back and my bedroom back!! *waaaaaa*
Ok, I'm better for the moment.  Maybe.

So, Saturday was a day that was just slightly off most of the day.  We had substitute teachers at swimming in the morning.  Very nice girls, but you couldn't hear a word they said and they raced through the "normal" stuff and just mostly gave us play time for just about half of our half-hour long class. *sigh*  Boo and I had fun and he's really enjoying the pool time (as am I), but I really enjoy the activities.  Then I gave him the option of going home or going to visit Zoe at bowling, and he chose Zoe.  So, off we go and watch Zoe bowl about a game and a half and Kat bowl a couple of games as a coach for the one team.  Boo made a friend and wandered off to color with a little girl Zoe had been coloring with a bit.  She didn't mind and Boo was on his best behavior.  It made me happy to watch.  He really does get along with the older kids well.  He spends most of his time at day care with the preschoolers these days anyhow.  He eats lunch with them, naps with them and then plays with them until about 4 or 4:30 and then heads down to the baby room until I get there.  He does just fine playing with the bigger kids.
After bowling we went to lunch and, as usual, Boo didn't quite follow his routine.  He downed his apple sauce, but wouldn't touch his grilled cheese but did eat a few of my fries, which isn't normal.  After lunch we went home and he napped for most of the next 3 hours (he played in his crib for about 20-30 minutes before falling asleep). This gave me the opportunity to try and clean the back bedroom.  I rounded up two more trash bags of laundry and got rid of about 2 bags of trash.  I gave up at that point as it was getting cold in that room (I had the windows open) and frustrated and tired.  I then put together the new spring wreath for the door and even managed to play some EQII before picking Gak up.  The rest of the day was groceries, dinner and general hanging around the house.

Sunday, I managed to go run in the woods again.  The park isn't too far from work, so I figured it was "close enough" that I wouldn't miss the whole day.
You see, I have such a quandry when it comes to orienteering.  The biggest issue is the fact that it's on Sundays.  Sundays are the only day that all three of us have off at the same time.  Sunday is also one of only two days a week that I get to spend more than an hour or two of awake time with my son.  I feel so terribly guilty for going out and spending a few hours in the woods instead of spending every waking moment that I can with my son and my husband on these days.  The orienteering is good for me.  I always feel so much better after doing it and I get over an hour's worth of good exercise (especially with all the hills around here!) and don't even realize I'm getting it.
But... Gak is so totally not an outdoors kind of guy.  He'll put up with it for my sake, but yesterday was so cold that I couldn't imagine asking him and Boo to hang around while I spent an hour or so on the trails (1:11:13 for 3.1 km and 75 m climb).  I don't have a backpack to carry Boo in, and I'm not sure how well that would work anyhow.  I'm sure I'd be able to continue to do the shorter courses, but I really want to get back into the Oranges and maybe even try my hand at a Brown or a Green if I get daring enough.  I know I couldn't take Boo with me on an Orange, there's too much off trail and  I have a hard enough time not knocking off my own head or getting myself too scratched up with prickers and the like.  I wouldn't have to outfit Boo with a helmet and safety glasses, and I'd still probably get questions from the day care ladies.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll come to some balance, I always do.

**Note, I started this Monday afternoon at the end of work**

Well, on another tangent, the deal didn't close Friday, so we're still in limbo.  The deal is supposed to close on Thursday.  But, we had people in from New Corporate yesterday as well as a few from Big Corporate and we ended up in a 3+ hour meeting.  I was about ready to strangle the sales team (who were dialed in remotely) about 20 minutes into the deal, but that's our sales team for you (and probably the most expendable group we've got.... and they should have probably kept that in mind...).  Anyhow, I still feel pretty good about this whole thing.  They're not looking to move us and it sounds like they've put a lot of thought into the transition and are looking for our input in what we need and direction as well.  So, maybe Monday I'll be part of New Corporate, but like it was said several times yesterday, it's business as usual, and should be for quite some time.  The best part was the fact that we finally got our steak dinner as promised by the segment leader a year ago for getting the work order count down.  It's slipped up quite a bit, but we're on our way back down again.  Of course, our business leader last night promised us another dinner when we break the 50 barrier.  We should be able to do that.  It'll take some hard work and as few problems as possible moving systems, but we'll get there.

Peace to all and may your quandaries be small, your lives in order and your futures look bright.

Friday, March 26, 2010


First things first, Happy Birthday Mom!! (a day late on the blog, but I did call her yesterday, twice even... well, Boo called her the second time...)  She says she's not upset at being this age, but thinks she'll just keep repeating the next two years or so indefinitely.  I can't say as I blame her.

So, yesterday morning I took a few hours personal time and headed over to the laundromat.  It took me about $45 in quarters to wash and dry everything that I had.  I think it translated into about 13 "regular" loads of laundry.  Talk about a lot of cloth!  And that's not even everything that Gak and I own.  After checking the dressers and closets, we decided that everything in there was safe.  We washed everything that was out of the closets and dressers, that is everything that was in the hamper, on the floor or on the bed or on the bookcase in the bedroom.  I did have to wash almost all of last week's laundry again because it hadn't been put away yet (one of my chronic problems...).  We've sequestered our clothes from yesterday and will do them separately next time I do wash, which will have to be some time this weekend so Boo will have some clothes for next week.  In this "in-between" weather we've been having, he's got plenty of shirts, but it's not warm enough for shorts yet and he only has so many pairs of pants...
Anyhow, I also super bleached the bed frame last night.  I figure between the bug spray we used Wednesday night and leaving a very strong bleach solution to evaporate over night, that if there's anything still living, I don't want to know about it.  I figure the bug spray probably wouldn't kill any eggs that were still around as they seem to be notoriously hard to kill, but soaking them in bleach solution should hopefully do the trick.  (At least I've got my fingers and toes crossed... we don't see anything left, but you never know.  I won't be totally over this until about 6 months from now and no new bugs.)
I also picked up a new mattress pad (which is good, because the old one was getting pretty icky and stained from Gak's frequent nighttime nosebleeds.)  I also picked up a new set of sheets.  They're a nice dark green, navy and white.  They should actually fit right now, unlike my current two sets.  I've got one set of king sized waterbed sheets that are too big, but tuck in, a set of "regular" queen sheets that work unless you just flop into bed and then the pop off and now a set of queen sized sheets that have the poles for the corners and will actually fit.

Anyhow, I'm calling today Limbo Day at work.  This is the day that the deal for the acquisition is supposed to close.  Of course, we don't have a meeting with the new management and transition team until Monday afternoon.  So, I guess today I'm still Big Corporate and Monday hopefully someone will tell me how to answer the phone.  This should be exciting!

Peace to all and may your spring cleaning be easy and your laundry loads small.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Well, this is NOT how I wanted to spend this evening....
You see, Gak and I have had a mysterious rash for the last few weeks, maybe longer, I've lost track.  It's only been on my arms and a little on my legs, and on Gak's arms and back.  It's gotten worse the last week or so.

Well, we figured out what the source has been....

Bedbugs.  Yep, nasty little bloodsucking insects.

Where did they come from?  When did they show up?  And how, in the name of all that is holy, could they live on a WATERBED??
I don't know.  And I really don't care.  Yes, mom, I'm sure my housekeeping skills or lack there of had something to do with it.  Yes, I'm beating myself up about it and am embarrassed to all anything over it.  I mean, who gets bedbugs?  Well, it turns out lots of people do these days... they've been coming back with a vengeance  (that doesn't look like it's spelled right, but that's what spell checker said was right...).
Anyhow, Andy came over with Kat and Zoe to drain the bed and investigate and see what was really going on.  Just about everything cloth that was in our bedroom has been bagged up and will be washed tomorrow.  I need to buy new pillows (I'd bought two in the last year!) and a new mattress cover.  I'm probably going to buy new sheets too, as my current set are about 10 years old now and have seen better days.  I'm not even going to think about how much this is going to cost me in quarters.  The bed's been sprayed and is empty and will be refilled at some point (maybe in a few days... depends on Andy's schedule...)
They have not invaded Boo's room, so that's a blessing.

Anyhow, Gak's sleeping on the sofa tonight and I'll be sleeping on the twin bed in Boo's room.  I guess it's a good thing we haven't gotten him to sleep there yet, huh?  Yes, I'm still pretty grossed out by the whole ordeal and will be for days I think.  This is worse than lice... this is the ultimate invasion of privacy by insects. Ick!

Anyhow, I've got to go move the truck and hope that my son's asleep enough that he won't notice me coming into his room.  I'm not sure if I'm going to do laundry in the morning or wait until after work.  Part of me wants to do it in the morning and get it over with, but I really don't want to miss work.  I don't think I have anything until noon, so I just might call in and take a few hours personal and show up in time for the training.

Peace to all and may your home not be invaded by pests, human, insect or otherwise.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Off to the Woods Once More

This whole weekend was pretty fabulous, but Sunday was, by far, the best.  At least in my opinion.
Saturday was a pretty normal, and busy, Saturday.  Drop Gak off at work.  Boo and I went to swim class, which he continues to enjoy.  Afterwards, we met up with Kat and Zoe right as Zoe was finishing up bowling.  We then spend some time trying to find, and eventually deciding on some birthday party invitations for Zoe.  Meanwhile, the whole time we were in the party store every time Boo would see an Elmo he would exclaim "Elmo!" and also "Abby!" when he saw an Abby Cadabby.  (He's pretty good at his Sesame Street people, other than getting Bert and Ernie backwards a lot, but that's OK.  Ernie is the Extrovert, or as my mom used to say, Bert's the banana-head...)  After invitation purchasing and balloon purchasing we went to lunch with Scott and Dianne.  Oh, and a belated happy 40th! birthday to Allen.  That's who the balloons were for.  Finally we made it home for a nap and then up again in time to get Poppa from work.  Then it was off to Target to pick up a few things, including new sandals for a boy that he liked in the store, but hated without socks... and a new T-shirt that was on clearance.  After a quick dinner the boys dropped me off at the laundromat and they headed off to the Q-mart for a bit.  I was doing laundry on Saturday because on Sunday, well, Sunday I was finally going to get back to orienteering.
Yep, that's right.  I finally was able to hit the trails again.  2007 was just a bad year in so many ways, then in 2008 I was very pregnant at the beginning of the season and then had a newborn that I really wanted to spend all my time with.  That and I probably wasn't really up to walking 2-3 Km even on trails at that point.  Last year, I just couldn't seem to manage it and had a 1 year old that I still really wanted to spend time with.  That and having Sunday as our only day that all of us are home together for the full day, really made me feel guilty about wanting to go out on the trails then.
But, the weather this week was so beautiful.  And the event was going to be at Warwick County Park, which isn't all that far from Amma and PopPop's.  And Gak was really needing a couch potato (or computer chair potato as the case may be) day.  Amma was more than happy to watch after Boo for a couple of hours while I went and ran in the woods.  Well, walked quickly is more like it.  One day I may run, but not any time soon.
When I was orienteering all the time, I had worked up to being very comfortable on an Orange course (intermediate, the courses from easiest to hardest are White, Yellow, Orange and then Brown, Green, Red and Blue are just different lengths of the same difficulty).  But, since I'd been away for over 2 years, almost 3, I figured I'd play it safe and stick with the Yellow.  I probably could have done the Orange.  While I did have difficulty with the first two controls, the only thing really holding me back was my speed.  This was a pretty easy Yellow course, mostly along or near the trails with only a couple of "good" legs that urged people to ditch the trails and go cross country.
Can I tell you how much I enjoy e-punch?  I had picked up my e-punch (a $40 investment) shortly before I stopped going.  At the time, maybe a few events a year were e-punch.  Now, just about every event is.  It's so much easier for the people compiling the results and you get so much more information.  I now know what every split is, not just my total time.  The down side is, no more strings of pink cards fluttering in the wind to give you a clue of how well (or badly) you did before you leave.  Oh well, I'm sure the rankings will be up today or tomorrow on the site.
I did get a chance to say hi to a couple of people I used to talk to all the time.  It was good to see them.  They were all happy to see me and see me back as well.  I've got to get my registration form and $16 together for the next event.  (This Sunday's is actually pretty close to here, just a little further than work...)  Of course, everyone was asking where Boo was, but since I don't have a kid carrier back pack of some description, I wasn't about to bring him.  It turns out I could have brought him and Amma with me as the start/finish was right at a wonderful playground.
I feel like I did pretty well, for me and for having been away for so long.  I did 3.4 Km (as mapped) in 1 hour, 6 minutes.  So, no, not a very fast pace, but in reality, I probably did more like 4K and there was a nice bit of climb, but not too much.  I had problems with the first control because I was holding my map upside down and I didn't look up and around where I was (embarrassing!) and the second control I started double guessing myself because I didn't have a feel for the distance on the map vs. real life "time" distance.  Once I reminded myself to trusts myself and that I know what I'm doing, I was off and running... err... walking.  After that, it was all pretty simple (but not downhill for the most part...).
Anyhow, I hope to get out more often this summer, and maybe even take the boys with me at some point.  I really want to take Boo.  I'm sure he'd love being out in the woods, I'd have to do a White or a Yellow though, I'm not sure I could take him cross country like I do with an Orange or carry him that long for that matter.  He's a heavy boy now, over 26 lb with clothes on!

While I was walking my trail, I remembered a wonderful piece of advice I got from Uday via Rick... "don't loose touch with the map".  I think it's one of my favorite pieces of advice, and not just for Orienteering.  I mean, sure, knowing where you are on the map is about 75% of the battle in the woods, but same can be said for the rest of life.  If you know where you are, and know where you want to get to, the only thing left is to get there.  And if you get side tracked on the way, but still know where you are on the map, everything will still be OK.  I think I needed to remind myself of that this weekend, especially with everything going on at work and the state of my finances (or lack there of...).  Hopefully, I know where I am on the map of life and can find a destination I want to get to, there are several forks in the road to navigate.

Anyhow, I've got to wrap this up so I can get out the door for another Monday.  This should be an interesting week at work.  We've got New Corporate and Big Corporate from KC coming on Wednesday.  The closing will be on Friday.  Next week well start the real adventure.

Peace to all and may your weekends be wonderful, and your compass and map be true.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Sun!!

All I can say is I'm so thankful for warm, sunny dry days.  After the rain and gray and cold all last week, this week's weather has been like heaven.
Needless to say, I've taken advantage of it.  Monday after work Amma, Boo and I went to Target to return a bathing suit I bought Boo.  (I bought an 18 month one figuring it would be a little snug by the end of summer, but that would be OK.  Well, it was a little snug in the crotch, so back it went for a 2T.)  We then picked up Amma's car from Poppa, since the weather had been very icky and she'd let him drive it to work.  Amma, Boo and I head over to the dinner for diner and just as we ordered, Gak called and said that the game had been canceled.  So, I ordered him a sandwich and he walked over.  It was nice to have dinner the 4 of us.  It would have been better if the whole family was there, but hey, I'll take what I can get.
Yesterday and today were both so beautiful that I just had to take Boo over to the playground both days.  Apparently, I wasn't the only one with that idea.  It was quite a busy place.  Boo walked all around, played with the bells, spun the blocks and had me push him on the swing.  By far, the best part of the time to him was going down the slide and up the steps and down the slide and up the steps and... you get the picture.  He did this by himself about a dozen or two times before he wanted to wander off.  Today it was a toss up between the slide and wanting to go back to the car for Trey.  This picture is from yesterday (wearing a great hand me down T-shirt from his cousin Aden) taken with my phone.  Is he too cute or what?  Note to self, jeans hide playground dirt much better than khakis!
This nice weather is supposed to hold for a couple of more days and that will be wonderful.  I can't tell you how gray I was beginning to feel.  It's amazing how a little sunshine will make everything so much better.

Work continues and there's some speculation going on around the office as to what all is going to happen.  In most cases, I'm content to just ride it out, but there are some day to day things that I'd like answers too.  Next week some guys from the New Corporate will be around for a morning and show us a presentation and answer some questions.  Unfortunately, since the deal won't be final yet, we can't ask the HR kinds of questions most of us are itching to ask.  Oh well, soon enough we'll have some answers.  I'm still feeling pretty positive about this, but we'll see how it is in a couple of months once the pain of transition has really started.

Well, I'm off to do something for a bit, not sure what.

Peace to all and may the sun shine on you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Friday Meetings

OK.  I haven't been neglecting this space on purpose.  I actually have some pretty interesting news, but I couldn't share it until yesterday.  And then I just didn't feel like writing when I got a boy in bed and the oatmeal cookie batter mixed up.  (We're having an Irish pot luck at work tomorrow and I'm finally getting around to making my oatmeal cookies... mmm....)

Anyhow, I'll start with the exciting information first.  On Friday, at about 1:30 we all get a "mandatory business update" meeting request for 2:00.  That, right there doesn't give me many warm and fuzzy feelings.  Mandatory meeting, scheduled at the last moment and on a Friday afternoon?  Hmm....
Mind you, there have been all kinds of rumors floating around and getting some people around here on edge.  Me, I blew most of them off as the same old garbage we'd been hearing for the last several years.  Although, it was a little odd to start hearing more of them again, most of them had died down.
So, I head into the meeting confused and a little worried.  Well, I was right in a way, it was a big meeting.  You see, Big Corporate has decided to sell my business and another part of the business to New Corporate.  Now, New Corporate has a huge presence in the power/fossil fuel industry.  They already have an environmental group.We've actually worked with them as a direct customer at least once before.  They're based out of Ohio.
So, right now it's kind of like when you're buying a house.  The sale is under contract, but it doesn't close until the end of the month (next Friday).  Therefore, there are certain rules and laws in place as to what, exactly, we can ask or information we can get from our soon-to-be owner.  It really kind of stinks because there are a lot of questions it would be nice to have answered.  I mean day to day operating questions, like the most basic... how do I answer the phone on Monday the 29th?  What about our computers/other resources?  Not to mention the "big" ones like the benefits packages and pay and things like that.  In all reality, I'm less worried about those things.  Those things don't directly affect my day to day work life, where not having somewhere to record customer calls or an email address or even a computer to work on does affect my daily life and our customers.  (And without customers, I wouldn't have a job now would I?)

In the long run I think this will be a very good thing.  Overall I've enjoyed working for Big Corporate.  I'm looking forward to working for New Corporate though.  I think this is the kind of shake up and "new blood" and new direction that is so sorely needed in this business.  We've gotten quite stagnant across the board around here (not just me and my lack of focus... that's both a symptom and a cause...).  And when our GM, a guy who's had 2 employers since high school, (the Air Force and then Big Corporate) is "cautiously optimistic" about the whole deal, well, that says a lot right there.  And no, he's not the kind to blow smoke up your butt to make you feel better.  He's known that something was in the works since the fall some time (or so I've been told) so he's had plenty of time to bail if he wanted to.  He's definitely in this business to win, and I am hopeful we will get there from here.  There is a lot of positive energy in the building with regards to this.  I'm about 80% sure that not only is there a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's not a train.

Anyhow, I've got to wrap up and get going.  I've got swimming tonight and I've got a lot to get done before then.  I'll try and update with all the other fun things going on tomorrow.

Peace to all and may the news be good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Muddling Through

Well, the week has almost come and gone again and I've left this spot pretty blank.  It's actually been a pretty uneventful week overall.
Tuesday evening my swim class went well... swimmingly.  We've got to figure out Tuesday dinners a little bit better though.  It just seems a bit chaotic.  I should probably just have a snack when I get home and fix the boys something bigger when I get home.  Of course, then I won't get anything until about 9:00 when I get home.  I'll have to think on this some.  (I refuse to turn it into "Chick-fil-a night" even though I really want to, neither my wallet or my (shrinking) waist line can afford it...)
I was supposed to do the laundry yesterday evening, but I forgot... I have a 4:00 meeting every other Wednesday now.  You see, I was crazy enough to volunteer to be on the Activities Committee.  It meets every other Wednesday, so there goes my nice easy plans for laundry.  Oh well.  I'll do it tomorrow and then we'll figure it out from there.  I like the idea of not having to do it on the weekends so I can spend more time with both of my boys, but I may have to go back to Sundays.  It's also nice to do it mid-week because the place is almost empty.
Work continues to go.  I keep trying to find the bright spots and keep engaged with what I'm doing, but it's been pretty hard recently.  It's only going to get worse before it gets better with the weather turning warmer.  Oh well. I've got a couple of big projects that should keep me out of trouble (or get me into more trouble if I can't stick to them!).  I just wish I could figure out that mysterious work/life balance that so many people talk about.  I'm at work and I miss my family and wish I could be home with them, or anywhere with them.  Then when I'm at home, or leave on time every day and never put in any extra hours, I feel like I should be doing more for work.  It really is a no-win situation.  Oh well, my boys don't seem to be suffering too badly for my time at work and well, work is work and I'm hopefully holding my own.

I would like to clarify my rant of the books from the other day a bit.  It's not so much the fact that it's a guide to all the girly-girl things in life, but more the implication that "boys can be great at anything" and that girls just want and need to be pampered and don't care about achieving greatness, only looking good.  I totally understand that there are girls out there who truly want to be a girly-girl and experience all the "finer" things in life and things like that.  But, not all of us girls are like that.  Yes, I had a couple of Barbies as a girl, I believe all of them were gifts (but once I had some, I had to have clothes for her...).  Sure, I read the magazine, but partially because I'd read just about anything you put in front of me.  I never wanted to be Barbie, I didn't even really like her much.  I'll admit I had as many Strawberry Shortcake dolls as I could get and a good number of My Little Ponies as well, but they were much more fun to play with and have adventures with.  I also devoured almost every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on.  (I really liked Nancy, wasn't so big on her one strawberry-blonde friend who was much more a girly-girl).  I mostly just worry that more and more these days the only media images that our girls are getting are such plastic, unthinking, unrealistic images.  (Of course, what we're teaching boys isn't always much better, but at least we expect them to be rough and tumble and to be achievers... sometimes too much so...)  The only positive image I can think of is "Ugly Betty".  I'll admit, I've only watched most of one episode (where she took on the fashion magazine editors), but I liked what I saw, mostly.  (I mean, why can't you be smart and pretty and not skinny?)
Ok, I'm going to get off my soap box now.

I'd best get back to my project, I just needed a short break.
Peace to all and may your weeks be uneventful and listen to your inner voices.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Swimming and Other Weekend Things

This weekend started out swimmingly.  Quite literally.  Saturday morning was the first of Boo's swim classes.  To say we had fun would be an understatement.  I didn't get very many big giggles from him, but he was smiling and splashing and enjoying himself most of the time.  There were about 20 little ones under the age of 2 signed up for the class, so it was broken down into two groups.  Boo, being 21 months was just young enough to not be automatically put with the 2-year-olds, but older than many of the littler ones, who were all around 15-18 months.  The one instructor asked me how comfortable he was with the water, and remembering how long it took him to like the idea of the pool and the death-grip he kept on my arms, I said not very, so we went with the younger crowd.  Boo proved me wrong in almost an instant.
The only time he fussed was when we first got to the locker room and I asked him for his jacket.  He was so not thrilled with the idea.  He was a little dubious about the pool at first too, but I took him to the top of the ramp where they have some little water jets to show where the top is.  He gave me this really confused look at first, but quickly warmed up to them.  Once class started he couldn't get enough!  We had a very good half hour or so.
Unfortunately, we couldn't linger at the end of class.  I had to get us changed and out pretty quick.  The family locker room only has 4 changing rooms and with over a dozen parents and well... it was a bit crowded.  I eventually gave up on finding a changing room for me (I had no issues changing Boo in the middle of the locker room on one of the chairs...), so I did the camp thing of dressing and undressing at the same time.  I wouldn't have cared in the ladies locker room, but I really didn't feel like offending any of the fathers who were there.  I'm sure they all would have understood, but.... Anyhow, we got changed and on our way.
I dropped Boo off at the bowling alley where Zoe was finishing up her Saturday league.  Mel and Ant were there as was Grammy and Aunt Eileen.  All the kids were going to go to Burger King after bowling and then over to Zoe's school, where the authors of the Berienstien Bears was giving a talk and signing books.  Yes, in some of the older books Poppa Bear looks like a dofus, in most of the newer cartoons I've seen, he's often the level headed one that encourages both the cubs to try their best and is a good role model.  Take that for what it's worth.  (In other words, be the parent and know what you're reading/showing to your kids...)

After dropping off Boo, I drop off the truck with Gak.  Joan, Kat and I then go to Ray Sr's funeral.  It was a very beautiful funeral.  Don't get me wrong, it was a very sad event as Sr. was only a few years older than my own mom and he's left a gaping hole in his family and his community, but it was a good funeral.  There was at least one truck from most of the area fire companies.  There was both a Navy and a VFW honor guard.  In a very moving gesture, two of the ladder trucks from local companies created an arch over Broad Street with an American flag that the procession drove under, as you can see in the not-so-great picture I took with my phone.  All the police, fire police and firefighters along the way were standing at attention as the truck passed.  It was a little cold in the shade and wind at the cemetery, but it was a beautiful day.  It was good to see people I hadn't seen in way too long, but I wish it had been under better circumstances.  Hopefully there will be a couple of picnics this summer and we'll get a chance to catch up then.
After the gathering at the fire house, We pick the kids up at Zoe's school and Joan and her crew head home.  The rest of us head back to Kat's house and meet up with Gak.  Scott came over and we hung out and had dinner and just relaxed.  So, it was a good day, even if there was a sad reason for the gathering.

Sunday was nice and low key.  I wish it hadn't been so muddy out, or I would have taken Boo to the park.  Sunday we ended up having breakfast over at Spor's and then grocery shopping.  Gak went over to the Q-mart later in the day, but other than that, we just kinda stayed around the house, picked things up a bit and relaxed.  That was much needed by everyone.
Well, I'd better get back to work, as my lunch is almost over.

Peace to all and may your play time be fun and your gatherings friendly.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

21 Months and Other Stuff

Well, I'm a few days late with this update, but that's nothing new.  Thursday Boo had his 21-month checkup.  He's officially 33 inches tall, 25.5 lb and has a head circumference of 19".  This puts him at the 50% mark for height and head, and around the 25th for weight.  He's also doing just fine with all the "developmental" questions.  So, Dr. C confirmed that yes, we have a happy, healthy, thriving little boy.  Of course, this was accompanied by a lot of screaming on Boo's part.  He was just fine when we got there and looking at the fish tank and just hanging out.  (I'm really thinking that we might want to at least get a Beta.... if only for my own entertainment...) As soon as we head back and get to the door between the waiting room and the exam rooms he realizes he's at the doctor's and starts screaming his fool head off.  Oh well, eventually he'll get over that.  He doesn't get any shots next time, so that's nice.
Today we start our parent/toddler swim class.  I'm so excited about it.  Boo has no idea what's going on even though I've told him.  We'll see how it goes.  I hope it goes well.  I'd really like it if he likes the water half as much as I do.  We shall see though.  It may be a bit rocky if the pool is as cool as it was Tuesday evening.

After swimming this morning it's going to be a bit hectic though.  We've got to get changed, go over to the bowling alley to drop Boo and his car seat off with Grammy Voce (Kat's mom) where he'll hang with Mel, Ant and Zoe for the morning/afternoon.  Then we'll drop off the car at Gak's work and then Joan, Kat and I will head over to Ray Sr.'s funeral.  Yeah, I so wish it was for something fun.  I went to the viewing last night and despite the sad occasion it was good to see a handful of people I haven't seen in ages.  I just wish it didn't  take something like this to get us all together.  Ray Sr. went way too soon.  He was only 2 years older than my mom.  That's a really scary thought.  My mom's not old.  (Although, I have to keep reminding myself how old I am and that she is my mom after all... so isn't as young as I think...)

So, it's going to be a mixed day of ups and downs.  I'm sure I'll be exhausted from it all by the end of the day.  Luckily we don't have anything scheduled for tomorrow.
I'm off to get ready.

Peace to all and may your checkups be good, and your friends there for you.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Mixed Bag

Well, today's update (wow! 2 days in a row!) will be a bit of a mixed bag.
First let me get the sad news out of the way.  The father of the guy I dated almost all through high school passed away yesterday.  A week ago Saturday he had a major stroke and went into a coma.  I'm not sure if they ever did get the bleeding to totally stop.  It saddens me.  Ray Sr. was a good man.  A bit rough around the edges and could really be a bear to deal with, but over all, he was a good man.  I'm going to try and attend the funeral if at all possible, as I still feel bad for blowing Ray off last summer for a birthday party he was hosting while I was extra cranky with Joan.  (But that's not the only reason, like I said, I respected Ray Sr. and he was a good man, so I'd like to pay my final respects...)

On to brighter news.  Last night was the first night of my "Aquasize" class.  Oh, wow!  I'm in even worse shape than I thought.  I had a lot of fun though.  I'm either the youngest or second youngest in the bunch.  There are about 10 people in the class, including two men, most of them in the "under 50" crowd.  Most of them have either known our instructor from other classes or been taking this class for a while.  But, I was made welcome by everyone.  Our instructor is Erica... and in many ways she's not too different from Erin, Mom's instructor.  I think there's something about chlorine fumes that does that to a person after a while.  Right now the pool is a little on the cool side, because of swim team.  (You see, there is really only one HUGE pool at my Y and so, one temperature suits all...)  Supposedly they're going to make it warmer again once the swim season is over, which is soon.  That'll be nice.  I have to tell you though, this is definitely NOT my mom's swim class.  There is a large cardio portion in the beginning and she pushes you hard.  I really enjoyed it, even if I tried to drown myself a couple of times.  There was no staying dry, at least for me, last night.  Now I'm even more excited to take Boo to his first class on Saturday.

And now for a random rant.  The one I had in the works the other day.  Below is a picture I snapped at Target when we were there over the weekend.  Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

Why, oh why, do boys get to be the "Best at Everything" and girls are expected to "Be a Goddess"?  I mean, not knocking goddesses or anything, as I believe that every woman is a goddess in her own right, but please!  And the back of the pink book is even worse.  I mean, it was like a train wreck.  It has tips for "how to host your own fashion show" and other "girl appropriate" activities.  Can I gag now?  And people wonder what's wrong with girls these days... why they "can't" succeed and have self-image problems.  And don't get me started on the "girl video games", especially the series for the DS... Imagine "fashion designer" "babysitter" or
"wedding designer" just to name a few.  Sure, they have "teacher, field trip", "family doctor" and "animal doctor" amongst the titles, but most of them are the same stereotypical, image-centric fluff that is "expected".  It drives me nuts!  If we ever have a daughter, games like that will be banned just as much as the heavy shooters and other "M" rated games will be for Boo until he's much older.  (I'm not banning them outright and forever, just until he's old enough to know it's a game.) (Oh, and don't read any of the reviews on those games either... they'll just make you mad... or at least they make me mad...)
All I can say to that is ugh and shake my head.  Oh well.

Well, now that I'm late for work, I'd better get my butt in gear and out the door.  Off to work, then laundry tonight after picking Boo up and before picking Gak up and then home for dinner.  Busy day ahead!

Peace to all and may your classes be fun, your media images realistic and your family healthy.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Terrible Twos or Just Exhausted?

Well, it's March.  It's looking like weather-wise it just might come in like a lamb.  I just hope that doesn't mean that April is going to come in like a lion....
It also looks like our son is going to head towards his second birthday like a lion.  I miss my little lamb.  Over the past week or two we've started going through the real tantrums.  I swear, I have no idea what will set this boy off.  He's still very good when we go out (at least 90% of the time...).  But, when we're home watch out!  It's almost like watching someone be a rapid cycling bipolar.  One moment he's happy giggle boy and the next moment, he'll half trip over something or just randomly melt down into screaming unhappy boy.  Of course, he forgets his words at this point and doesn't actually tell you what's wrong.  (Or, just as mind bogglingly he'll ask for milk, you take his cup to go get said milk, and tell him, and he'll melt down... huh? )  Last night I was trying to straighten up the living room a bit (a never ending task... with a toddler) and I dared to fold his sleeping bag in half and neaten it up.  He'd been happily playing at the other end of the room, stops, runs over, picks up the corner of the bag and starts screaming at the top of his lungs like I'd just killed his best friend.  So I ask him what's wrong?  I put it back.  Nothing works.  So, I figure removing him from the situation is the only thing that's going to work... so I plop him in his crib for a few moments.  (I can also tell that he didn't get a full nap at day care and is rapidly approaching mind-numbingly tired...)  He quiets down in about 2 minutes (while I put the corner back the way I want it, making sure the dragon is on top of the bag...).  When I go in to get him, he starts screaming at me again.  I guess I should have just let him lie and fall asleep... even though I didn't want him to nap at 5:45!  So, yeah, it was a rough evening.  At least he usually (about 75-80% of the time) only gets this way when he's tired.  And he's usually pretty beat by the end of the day.  I think it is both that he doesn't get a full nap at day care (thank's little Miss. C... screamer that you are...) as well as the fact that he's going through such a physical and developmental growth spurt right now.  There's just so much for his body to do and grow and catch up with that he's just plumb tired!
Anyhow, I'm off to work.  Tonight is my first water aerobics class and I'm really looking forward to it.  I do have another rant, but it'll have to wait.

Peace to all and may your kiddos be happy ones!