Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What a week it has been. The day after Thanksgiving I spend packing and loading the POD with things that we don't have to have to survive for the next two weeks here. Well, some of those things anyway.

Then, I had to switch gears and work on a couple of papers that I had due this week. Just finished the paper from HELL on Social Security reform.

Now, I need to spend some more time packing. I am having the hardest time switching back and forth between student and wife/mom and I'm really not doing a very good job at any of them right now.

I feel like I haven't seen mine kids in a week. They spent a most of Thanksgiving week with the grandparents. Then this week I have been chained to my desk and pretty much un-accessible. I feel bad.

I haven't been a good student. I am a very anal student. I am freaking out about the prospect of getting a B in my policy class. I keep telling myself I need to let it go. I have so much on my plate right now. I just can't do it all and it's not like I'm slacking deliberately. But, I know me and I can't let it go that easy. I have to kick myself around about it.

I haven't been a good helper with the packing since last Friday. I want to help. Actually, I want to be in control, because no one will pack it the way I want it packed, so that I can find things when we move. I don't have time to do it myself, but I want to bitch about anyone else does it. Shame on me! I need to let that go too.

I haven't been a very good wife either. I don't remember the last time I had sex with my husband. It's not because he hasn't tried. Bless his patient heart. I'm just so tired mentally and physically, that I don't want to be touched.

I feel an ulcer coming. I just have to survive till the end of semester. The house is supposed to close sometime in the last week of classes. I guess when it's over, it will ALL be over. I just have to get there. I'm hanging on by my fingernail. Good thing I have a good support network to catch me if I let go.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Again, I am running a bit late in my holiday wishes and thoughts. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I hope everyone had plenty to eat. I know I did and I still have leftovers in the fridge, although I think I am over Thanksgiving food.

Here are some things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving season, in no particular order:

I am thankful for the chaos that has been our home buying experience. Because it means we are in a financial position to (finally) buy a home. There are so many that do not have a place to call home and sadly there are so many losing their homes right now.

I am thankful for the term/research papers that I have coming due this week (Monday). They represent the fact that I have the cognitive and physical abilities to further my education. I also have the love and support of so many. I could not so it without them.

I am thankful for health insurance. Because without it Nate might still be without hearing in one ear, due to a big glob of wax. And even though co-pays were a killer last month, Nate got the anti-biotics he needed to fight off strep throat. I am also thankful that no one else got it.

I am thankful for extended warranties because I do not have to buy a new laptop, since one of my children kicked it off my bed cracking the screen. I'm also thankful that I have this dinosaur of a desktop computer to use while I wait two weeks for its return.

I am thankful for my crazy, often annoying extended family because I know my children are well cared for and not under foot while I am packing. They also pick up kids from school while I am in school, a gift words cannot express gratitude for.

Most of all I am thankful for my amazing family. I have a wonderful husband, who is supportive of me and is an amazing father. I couldn't ask for anything more in my soul mate. I have been blessed with three awesome boys and have the loan of a nephew who fits right in. I am thankful for all of them. They keep me grounded and laughing in the midst of all the craziness.

I am thankful for "the board" my online community of mommy friends. I look forward to hanging with the girls each year. Sometimes, you just need the support of a girlfriend and I have found some good ones there.

Monday, November 19, 2007

We signed the counter offer on house #3. Not any big changes, not really even anything that needed to be countered, but whatever. We have an official, accepted offer again. I am cautiously optimistic that this one is the one. Brian and I had been looking at living room furniture. The house has a long narrow living room space that has an opening in the middle of each long wall. One enters the dining room. The other is the hallway to the bedrooms. It will be interesting to figure out an arrangement for furniture in that space.

I have also been looking at paint colors. This will be our first owned home; the first home that we can paint the walls. We are not wild color crazy people. I am looking at faux treatments in warm neutral colors. We have been stuck in a blue phase for quite a while; I am ready for something new. But, I also do not want to shrink an already small space. Oh, the stress.

I am excited about decorating a room for Jacob. I think I have mentioned this before. I have bought a fleece throw that is purple (his favorite color) with flaming soccer balls. I also saw a purple lava lamp that I'm sure he will find intriguing. I took some pictures at his last soccer game that I plan to make 5x7 and frame them to create a border on one wall. He has one more game and I hope to get a few more good ones. I thought about framing his jersey too, like they do the pros. We'll see.

Nate had his own room here when we first moved here, until Shawn moved in. He will have his own room again. His room is done in Thomas the Tank Engine. So, we will just carry that over to the new house. The has a train table in his room and a Thomas night light (that needs a new bulb). I think it will be fun to have his own room again.

The older boys will share a room. I'm not sure about this decision. I hope they will sleep when they are supposed to. We'll see how it goes. We are getting a bunk bed set for their room. The rooms are kind of small; so I don't think both of their twin beds will fit in there as they are now. I want to get them new dressers and a desk too, so that will take room. I just want it to be more functional for two high school boys. I'm thinking of getting a computer for their room too, for school stuff. We won't connect it to the Internet though. It will just be for typing papers and playing games that we have approved/purchased. Internet access will still have to be in the family room where mom can supervise.

Can you tell I am getting a little excited about the house? Well, I'm not so excited about the moving part. We have started packing stuff this weekend. I hauled out 5 bags of clothes to Goodwill on Saturday. They were from the kids' "change of season" clothes; summer clothes that will not fit anyone anymore. And a ton from my closet that no longer fit, or that I just haven't worn in forever. It is liberating to get rid of stuff while moving. I'm still not enjoying the packing part.

Tomorrow, we will have a POD delivered. Whoever came up with this business idea is a genius. Someone drops off a huge empty box on my driveway. I fill it up with everything I want to move. Then I call them and they come pick it up and move it to my new house, where I unload it. Genius. So, I will be loading my POD during the Thanksgiving holiday "break" (when I am not researching, reading or typing the monster papers I have due next week). If I am not heard from in the next week. I might just be buried in my POD hiding from my responsibilities.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I am so tired. That's about it. I wanted to write something and I'm too tired to really sort things out in my head. So here's one of things that are in there right now:

Yesterday, Nate had an appointment with the ENT. This child has had ear problems since birth, and yes he was breastfed until he was two and a half (maybe I am a bit of an over achiever). Anyway, he had tubes put in his ears just before his first birthday and that helped, although it didn't stop the infections. In January, he had a hearing test that came back inconclusive. It showed significant hearing loss in his left ear, but since he was barely four it was possible that it was due to him not properly responding. The test was repeated in September; it was supposed to be June, but that's how scheduling goes. The results were exactly the same as they were in January. Mild conductive hearing loss in his left ear; mild because it was only one ear. He was referred to his ENT (the same one who put in the tubes four years ago), who promptly scheduled an appointment for the end of November. See what I mean about scheduling. Good thing it wasn't anything important. So they called me on Tuesday because they needed to reschedule the appointment. Great, another three months. OR we have an opening tomorrow at 9:40am.

You know those cartoons with the little devil and angel on each shoulder. Well, I had a little mom and a little grad student on each shoulder duking it out. I had class at 11:00. The appointment is expected to last two hours. I have the prof from Hell. I won't mention any names, but if any of my peers are reading they just snorted, because they know! Anyway, mom won out. I emailed my prof and didn't receive a response. I assume he got it.

The appointment started with another hearing test, which could not be done until the Dr cleaned out his ears. Apparently, they were pretty gunky. I think that is the technical word. So, we saw the Dr who had Nate lay on the table while he probed his ears with some funky instruments through a tube with a bright light. From his right ear (his good ear) he pulled out a glob of wax as big as the end of my little finger. Gross, I know. From his left ear, it was more difficult. The stuff was softer, so he tried a vacuum. I kid you not. But, it didn't work. It was so impacted in there. He continued to scrape little by little balls of wax out. Finally, the Dr pulled out the prize wax ball and picked it apart with his tools. He pointed out to me a tube. The tube that had been put in in 2003 and should have come out in about six months. It was trapped in the wax. That's how long this wax has been building up. How gross is that.

Now, just to reassure you (and me) there is nothing I could have done about this wax. It was way in there and I couldn't even see it. Apparently, neither could the pediatrician who has checked his ears many times in the last four years. I have an issue with that, but that's a blog for another time.

Next stop, back to the audiologist for the hearing exam. Which he passed with almost flying colors. Who knew a little wax could immobilize your ear drum and make you nearly deaf. His left ear is now on the low range for normal hearing. We have to have it checked again in six months. But, I am so ecstatically happy that we got good news. We do however have to deal with residual effects of the year plus of hearing loss. He has a few mispronunciations. The ENT said he could pick them up now and catch up. If not we will need to look into speech therapy for him. But still, he can hear!

Nate was so good until the very. He was getting tired of people messing with his ears. Instead of going in to class late as planned, the mommy on my shoulder suggested pancakes (one of his favorites), so we went to lunch and had pancakes. It was a fun time. A little break from the chaos that is my life right now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Update on the house drama. It truly doesn't end does it? So, we have had an offer in on a house (the second offer since September if anyone is counting). This house is a "short sale" which I am told is just a step away from foreclosure. The owner is trying to get out from under the house before the bank forecloses and the bank allows them to sell for less to get it sold before they have to foreclose and sell it for the same amount anyway. So in theory, both parties want to move the house, right? Thus the term "short sale." That's what I thought. I was wrong.

So, my (wonderful, amazing, patient) real estate agent contacted the other agent to get an update on offer. Well, apparently what I thought was an accepted offer, as in we made an offer, the owner countered, we agreed, has not been accepted by the bank. And it can take "another month or two or more." WTF? I don't have three months. I need to move in three weeks. My agent's advice it to leave this on the table and continue to look at others houses. ARGH! I am so sick of looking at houses. I just want one to move into.

Ding. Ding. Round three. Saturday we looked at some more houses. We found a really cute little house, with a white picket fence around the front yard. It also has four bedrooms, instead of three, like the one are sitting on. It's smaller in square footage and the living room is much smaller, but doable. And did I mention 4 bedrooms? Jacob is going to be so excited. I haven't told because I don't want to get his hopes up and this one fall through. As you can see, I'm not too optimistic about this whole experience right now. But, I am so excited to "do" Jacob's room.

Oh yeah, we are putting in the offer tomorrow. Our agent and the other agent have been in touch. I hope this works out. We need to move. As it is, we will be living with my mother in law for about a week. And we will be unpacking during Christmas vacation. That will be nice, because the kids can stay with the grandparents. So, they say the third time's the charm right?

It's not all great. It puts all of the kids in new school zones, including the older boys' high school. I plan to transfer them back in. Joshua will be a senior next year. I'm not going make him take his senior year in a new high school where he knows no one. As for the little boys, I will tranport them for the rest of the year and next year we'll see what happens. For now, we'll just wait and see if we get the house. The agent says it could happen by the 14th of Dec. I will believe it when I have the keys in my hands.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

So, today I was thinking about husbands. I was thinking about how wonderful mine is. How supportive he is of me and my educational pursuits. He humors me when I have crazy ideas and goes along, when I know he doesn't want to. Even though our religious convictions are different, he goes to church with our family every Sunday and even helps when I teach Sunday school. He is smart. Now, I have dated less smart guys (I even married on of them). And I really appreciate being able to carry on an intelligent conversation. We do not always agree. As a matter of fact we can get a good argument going on. I don't mean a fight, I mean an argument, like lawyers. We get on different sides of a point and debate it. And this is fun, usually. We love to hang out together. We like to hike in Yosemite (which I am hoping to do again on Veteran's Day since there is no school). We like to stroll the beach. We genuinely like being together.

So, I was thinking about husbands and started thinking about my friends' husbands (not like that). Now Tracey's husband has already been sainted. He supports her pursuing another master's degree in a subject she is passionate about (so am I). Melissa's husband should be sainted too, well because he's Melissa's husband (just kidding Mel). But seriously this guy is a gem. While is away from home alot, they talk all the time. Did you know pilots talk on cell phones, scary! They have a great relationship. Then there's Aimee's husband. He is awesome too, plugging away at grad school, yet still making time to hang with his boys and play board games and video games with his wife. They love each other so much, she gushes when she talks about him. Then there is Jodi's husband. He's a bit on the quiet side, but also very supportive. He was kind enough to host the first night of our girlfriend weekend, so I got to see him action. He was so gentle with his sons. Jodi and her husband spend alot of car time together and do lots of home projects.

Kudos to Brian, Rich, David, Jason and Michael. We are blessed to have such awesome husbands. You are setting a great example to your sons of how to be real men and how to treat the women in their lives. You are also setting high standards for the way your daughters will expect to be treated by the men in their lives.

So, I was also thinking about a handful of other friends (acquaintances?). There is a group of stay home moms I know (I won't mention any names). Not that being a stay at home mom is the issue, these just happen to be. They are deeply immersed in their children's lives and school. They are very defensive of these roles. It seams their lives revolve around these roles. They rarely speak of their husbands. The husbands work alot or are gone alot. They often complain how their husbands disrupt their routines. I think how sad this is. How sad for the children. I wonder what will happen to these marriages, to these women, when their children are grown. Is there anything else out there?

Just thinking how lucky I am to have an awesome husband. Brian I love you!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween... Ok, so it's a day late. But, that's how I work lately.

Yesterday, I was able to hang around the little boys' school until their parade was over. That worked nicely as I was able to see both of them with their classmates in their costumes. I had class, so I was not able to stay for Nate's party. I'm ok with that. I did pack little goody bags for each of them to share with their classmates. I think there is some hidden guilt there that I am not the super mom who plans and attends all the parties with fresh baked goodies. Of course, we can't have fresh baked goodies anymore anyway, so that helps some. I did my part to add to the sugar rush in my little bags that they could take home. Actually, there was only one candy in there, a glow stick (for safer trick or treaters) and glow in the dark plastic vampire teeth (for some reason kids always love those).
So here are some pics of the kids yeterday (assuming I can figure out how to add pics):
First up we have Nate, my little red-headed spiderman (in Jacob's costume from last year), along with the others spiders who descended on his class yesterday. It seems Spiderman was a popular alter ego this year. Gotta love four year olds in big muscle costumes.
Then there is Jacob, who you can't really see because of his mask. But, that's him as the black Spiderman. See what I mean about the popularity of Spiderman; I had two in my house. The ninja next to him is his best friend Skylar. Of course, you can't see him either.
Next up we have Shawn. Dressing up is not so much for high school kids. It's more about how well you can freak out your teachers and fellow classmates. As I understand it, he got the desired responses with this little added affliction. This my friends is why we don't throw pencils in the air and try to the catch them in our mouths.

Here's Joshua, who likes to simply get a reaction. He did not wear this to school, just to his girlfriend's house for fun and teenage trick or treating. I actually bought this costume last year to wear when I was working at Children's Hospital. I had the honor of leading the Halloween parade for the children in the hospital on Halloween. But, on Joshua, well it's just different!

A few years ago a stange movie called Napolean Dynamite came out. When it did, my dear husband was repeated told how much he looked like a certain character named Kip. We had to rent the movie just to see, because he heard it so much from students and colleagues alike. Well, this year, he decided to go with it (and found a "kip accesory kit" since we do not own a "do rag"). I understand he got quite the reaction in his costume at school as well. Here is Brian as Kip. Another math teacher was Napolean, complete with curly wig and "Vote for Pedro" t-shirt. I'm still waiting to see the pictures from school.

There you have, my boys at there... um, most interesting. It also gives you a glimpse at their unique (well maybe not the little guys) personalities. (Now let's see if this works).

Hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween!