Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweetie Saturday - Growing Up Too Fast Edition

This week for Show and Tell, Sweetie decided to take her "telephone" she made out of 2 plastic cups and a long string. (Kids are to bring something they made, something that was made for them, something from nature, or something that helps describe them for Show and Tell. I'm pretty sure Sweetie is the only kid who usually does this.) 

To demonstrate her toy, she picked S____ to listen at the other end of the phone. S____ is a cute boy who told Sweetie towards the beginning of the school year (as well as another girl in the class) that he wants to marry her. Obviously, Sweetie likes him back. 

What did you say into the phone to him?

Hi S______. I love you.

(I'm told that everyone then laughed - including S_____ and the teachers.)


There's another boy in Sweetie's class who's been picking on her a bit. He's one of the few kids she's labeled as a "bad boy." She often plays "Super (Sweetie)" at recess "with" these boys - as in, she's the super hero who's secretly saving everyone from the bad boys (while they happen to be playing at whatever they're doing.)

Anyway - one of the things Sweetie has told me about this one boy in particular is that he calls her a name. Not really a bad name. Just a boy's name that is arguably a variant of her real name. But it bugs her.

Aw... that just means he likes you. Boys pick on you when they like you.

That was that... until a few days later.

Mommy - I asked D______ today if he likes me and he said no.

Then a few days after that:

Mommy. Today I asked D______ if he DIDN'T like me and he said "I just don't want you to kiss me."

Ha! You haven't been going around kissing boys, have you?

No!!! I haven't kissed anyone at school!

Okay. Just checking.


On the weekends, Sweetie knows that she can come wake me up at 7:30 a.m. or later. But more often than not this translates to exactly 7:30 a.m. on the nose. (then she gets mad at me when I'm dressed and wanting to go downstairs with her because she's not done playing in her room yet!) 

A few days ago, Sweetie didn't get me up until about 7:45 a.m. Wow! What a nice surprise!

When I asked her why she got me up so "late" she answered very sincerely:

Well, it's hard to know what time it is when your eyes are closed.

Yes. I do suppose you're right, Sweetie. You got me there.

Monday, May 25, 2009

12 Years

You don't know that I collect giraffes.

You don't know that I made the decision to start collecting giraffes on a whim 11 years ago while in France when I saw a beautiful poster of a giraffe metamorphosing into the Eiffel Tower. 

You don't know that our camera was broken the entire time we were in France so that none of the 300 or so pictures we took during our visit developed. Nor do you know that we ended up making a gorgeous scrapbook out of the pictures Scott had from his previous time in France and from pictures generously lent to us by a friend from when she was in Paris. 

You don't know that Scott proposed to me at the Memorial Arch in Tilton, NH because it reminded us of the Arc de Triomphe.

You don't know how much I not only wanted you at our wedding but also wished that our relationship was the same and that you could have stood up as my witness.

You don't know that one of my brother's and his wife have 3 children together, giving me a total of 7 nieces and nephews on my side of the family.

You don't know that my oldest niece, whom you have met, is engaged to be married. 

You don't know what craziness we went through toward the end of my pregnancy, not the least of which was being diagnosed with preeclampsia and having to deliver Sweetie 3 week earlier than her actual due date.

You don't know that I was able to have a natural birth that went very successfully, but that I was also put on some crazy magnesium sulfate while in the hospital and that I more or less have no recollection of Sweetie's entire first day of life.

You don't know that I had a grand mal seizure a month or so before Scott and my wedding, which has required me to be on seizure medication ever since.

You don't know that I walk with a walking stick now or that ever since giving birth my left upper leg can (and usually does) go completely numb after standing on it for only a short time or that I have terrible lower back pain - both of which are helped a small bit by the drug store back brace I wear almost every day and certainly when I know I'll be out and about.

You don't know that I had a hysterectomy a little over 2 years ago because - well, let's just say Sweetie broke my "oven" when she took residence there and it wished to leave my body one way or another no matter what!

You don't know Sweetie. Amazing, smart, energetic, imaginative, creative, curious, stubborn, sweet Sweetie. 

You don't know how absolutely devastated I was when you broke off our friendship or how terribly, terribly guilty I felt or how much I knew in my heart that your reasons, at the time, were well justified.

You don't know how much I've thought of you over the years. I probably couldn't admit that it's been every single day, but certainly a very large portion of the days that made up the last 12 years of my life.

You don't know how many times I've tried to find you. Where are you currently living, what's your email address, what's your phone number? Are you on Facebook? What sorts of social networks, if any, would you be likely to join?...

...But you will know all of the above about me and so much more. And I will get to tell you everything myself. Because I've found you. And you responded. And you say you've thought of me all these years as well.

Twelve years is a lot of years to catch up on. So much can change in that span of time - especially when you're talking about the years just after college to full-fledged adulthood. Family, travel, births and deaths. A better grasp of reality and appreciation for how things had to be back then. 

I can't wait to talk to you on the phone and see you again. Can't wait to meet the important people in your life now and for you to meet mine. 

Yes, things obviously have changed. But you've always remained important to me and I knew, somehow, we'd one day get past our stubborn, young ideals and opinions and find each other again. Our relationship now will certainly be different - twelve years of life and living will do that to you! - but I feel we will regain a uniquely strong friendship once again.

For, honestly - did it ever really go away?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Life Is Good

Money may be as tight as ever, so much so that we really shouldn't be spending a dime on anything other than bills and absolute necessities...

My body may seem like it's slowing down, aching up, and just not fit to be moving around as much as it was once able to....

I may feel like I've been to the doctor, or dentist, more in the last year than I have in the last 5 years! Yay - so many visits with the crappiest insurance ever...

I am still out of a job, much like so many people these days. And so I let myself occasionally feel that much worse for myself - and about myself - because I was laid off just over a year ago now, before the big economic crisis truly hit (but well into the hurt that the newspapers were and still are feeling so badly). Surely I should have been able to find a job by now!... Ah, yes, but if I had - who knows! Perhaps I'd already be laid off from THAT job (last one in, first one out, you know). Of course, maybe not. We can't know. 

Sweetie, as we know, says about herself that she's great everyday. Daddy's tagline - per Sweetie (with a little bit of Daddy help) - is that he is "awesome." I'm still waiting and wondering about what my "thing" is. Makes me feel a little left out, if I'm being honest. Not to mention the pure joy I see in Sweetie and Hubby's eyes when they're being crazy and silly together - running around the house, hiding from each other, tackling one another to the ground in tickle fights. I wonder if Sweetie enjoys our geocaching adventures better when it's just she and her daddy - they can go quicker and walk together. Or when I go along - we go much slower and Daddy has to help me along, leaving Sweetie to walk ahead, slowly, on her own.


... really, sometimes you've got to give yourself permission to live just a little. Life is so much more than the money in your bank account or pocket.

... I am going off on hiking excursions with my family and I am holding up! I am doing it! So what if I come to a day when stairs are really an impossibility. Just give me a ramp or an elevator and I'll keep on keepin' on!

... At least I have insurance. And the reassurance that doctors and dentists are there to help me, they know what's going on with me and are working hard to make things right. 

... I have a vision for my future. I am working on my plan. I strive for a job to go to everyday that doesn't feel like going to a job everyday. I have contacts, I am not giving up. I will succeed at whatever I do.

... Sweetie calls to me when she's having trouble with anything or when she's hurt. She squeezes me so tight after a long separation from the both of us. She cuddles up to me on the couch as we read books or veg during a T.V. show. She draws detailed pictures of me, for Mother's Day, wearing specific clothing and with my purse - with all it's unique qualities - slung over my shoulder. But no braces or walking stick, because "I didn't think of those things." Sweetie can't say for sure which caching adventures she prefers - with or without me - which is fair enough. I say at least she didn't jump at the chance to leave me home.

Life, for anyone, is full of goodness and badness. I try, everyday, to focus on the good. That's a very difficult thing to do sometimes, but I try. 

Life is good. Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Stopping By A Blog On a Sunny Afternoon

Dum de dum la la la la...

 Oh! Whoa! Who goes there?!

Oh! Hi! How the heck are ya? I hardly recognized you - you look so different! It sure has been awhile, hasn't it? How are things? How's the family? You're looking just great!

How am I? I'm good, good. I've finished up tutoring my NCLB kids a couple weeks ago. One kid I'll miss - he was great! But the other was a real terror. I'm sorry to say I'm not too sad that my time with him is up. But, in both kids' cases, I was thrilled to see how well they did on their final assessment tests! Of course my "challenging" kid needed some major coaxing to even agree to complete just some of the test, but what he did, he did well on. And so did my 3rd grade guy. I've got to say that I'm proud of them both and proud of myself for helping them make the improvement.

Now I'm back to studying for my teaching certification and applying to jobs as they come along. I went to a school job fair a couple months back where I learned about a very interesting sounding part-time writing assistant position. I've got to call my contact woman this week to check on the hiring process for that - she said they would start interviewing for it some time after spring vacation. And I also sent in my information for an elementary teacher position opening up in the fall at a neighboring town. Of course, I'll still take almost anything, so I've also just applied for a receptionist position at a dental office. I just keep trying, keep hoping, and do what I can to stay afloat, stay happy, and not freak out too much.

Oh! And another thing! I'm on the substitute teaching call list for 2 SAU's  - my own town's and the neighboring town. I've already been called twice, but the first call I missed and the second was last week, calling me in for that same day when I also had a dentist appointment I had to keep. So 2 calls and I've not actually gone in to teach in either case. At any rate, I'm definitely learning how crazy it is to be a sub, what with not knowing the night before if you'll be working the next day or not! I have to get up each day, dress as if I'll be teaching, and then if I've not been called by the time I've dropped Sweetie off at school, then I'm pretty certain I'm not going to be called and I can change to my home clothes. It's weird - I have to say to myself each night - "Okay, if I'm not subbing tomorrow, then I'll do this, this and this at and around home. If I am subbing, then forget all that and I'll have to find a different time to get that all done." What a double life I'm leading! 

On the home front, we 3 are all doing great! Hubby has uncovered a new hobby for the family - geocaching. Actually, if you want to be exact, I found out about geocaching a few years ago and knew that it was an activity that had Hubby's name written all over it! I SO wanted to get him a GPS and let him into the wonderful world of high-tech treasure hunting back then... but finances wouldn't allow the GPS system so I just let it go. Now... Hubby somehow recently came upon all things geocaching (I think one of his friends at Facebook mentioned it) for himself and.... the rest is history. We used some of our tax refund money to get the GPS and we've been off and running ever since. It is a lot of fun, and I certainly am getting a lot more exercise than I'm used to (I walked just about 2.5 miles yesterday! So proud of myself!). And, ooh boy!, does Sweetie ever love it! She and her Daddy are geocaching fools! I guess it's just, in my opinion, I think you can take a good thing and just about kill it with overexposure. Hubby comes home from work and he talks about the caches he found on his way home. If he's ever at the computer, it's to load more caches into the GPS for us to find. And he's almost completely stopped going to Facebook to play games-in-progress that he's involved in. Facebook, after all, was soooooo yesterday, doncha know? (not that it's a great thing to be constantly on FB, or wherever, of course.) Whatever - like I said, geocaching can be a lot of fun (more so for me if I'm actually involved in finding the cache along our hikes than simply doing the tough-for-me hikes and then waiting on the path while Hubby and Sweetie go off into the woods to track the treasure down themselves), but... stop talking about it so much to me and maybe I'll like it even a bit more than I already do! The caches aren't going anywhere - do something else with your life for a bit, okay?!

Phew... what? Where was I? Oh,... sorry about that. Got carried away in my cache rant (which I'm only able to sit here and write about because - you guessed it - Hubby and Sweetie are off on another hunt right now!). Let's see, what else?...

Huh... I don't know... I've obviously not been in the writing mood lately. I'm feeling much more in the teaching/learning mode these days than the writing/editing mode. Which is a good thing! But I want to keep up with you here when I can as well. As a long-time reader said to me (more or less) in a beautiful email she sent me - my just being here, writing about my everyday, "boring" life, does in itself what I first intended with this blog. It shows that being a woman, and a mom, who happens to have a physical disability really is no different than any other woman or mom out there! So no matter - just write!

All "write" already! Seriously - I didn't write you back, but you know who are you. I appreciated your email more than you can know and I certainly see your point - and agree with you too. No matter what I say or do here, I still am who I am. I don't have to harp on about my disability or adopt a "woe is me" or even an "I'm so great!" attitude about what I accomplish (or not) in my life. I'm just me and I'm doing fine - as is my family - no matter how it is I get around physically or what sort of obstacles may slow me down.

Anyway, I better get going. That's enough about me for now. Thanks for stopping in! It was so great to see you! I'll be back soon. Have a great rest of your day!