Monday, January 31, 2011

Tough Decisions Have to Be Made

And I don't like it one bit. I have mentioned that Mark and I are going on vacation in a few months and while we are super excited about it, it means more work for us and namely my in-laws. We will be gone for five whole days without Annabelle, which makes me a bit nervous and she'll be staying with my mother and father in law. I know she'll be fine but I also know that the day we leave I will be a basket case. I know that I will be a crying mess leaving her but that I will also calm down after we get there and hear that she's doing OK without us.

But we now have a project that NEEDS to be completed (well started actually). We need to make a will. I know that we should have had one done ages ago, after we bought our house. Then after we had Annabelle, we said we should make a will. And now four and a half years later, we still don't have one. But soon we will be going away and the need to have one has escalated for me. And it's so hard! I have an aunt who is a lawyer, and she's going to do the will for us, so no lawyer fees and she's giving some advice as to what we need to decide on, but it's not simple decisions we're making here.
  1. we need a guardian and alternate guardian
  2. an executor and alternate executor
  3. trustee and alternate trustee

Picking six people doesn't seem like it should be so hard. We had gone back and forth about guardianship. How do I decide who gets to care for Annabelle for the rest of her life without hurting another person? I know that both my parents and Mark's parents would want her, would expect her. But after some soul searching, we came up with a plan and I am good with it. It would be the best for Annabelle with everything that we had to consider.

What we are hung up on right now is the executor. I think it should be family, our parents or his brother, Mark wants it to be a close friend. I understand his reasoning, that divvying up our belongings will be harder on family than a friend but. How do you ask a friend to be the referee between our parents if they are fighting over something. Mark seems to think we have so many wonderful things that everyone will want. Beyond the TV and the furniture, we don't have much. No expensive jewelry or cherished items that anyone would want.

It's tying my insides into knots thinking about everything. I have time to make these decisions, my aunt won't be in town until the end of March, but it's driving me crazy right now! So what do I do? Pick a name out of a hat or what?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tiny Dancer

This week at our dance studio is Parent Watch Week. It is the one time all year that we get to watch our kids practise in their class. We don't get to watch them until they are on that big stage. I was excited to see what else Annabelle had learned, last year was her first year dancing and she was one of the youngest in the class. Most of the other girls had danced before. She had never been away from a relative before. No preschool or day care, no strangers telling her what to do. She was/is a shy girl but she did as much as she could (which was not much, she takes after her mother and is less than graceful) and had fun doing it.

Just look at this sassy little girl from last year's recital!

This year though, it is a whole different story. She had been saying for weeks now that she didn't want to go to dance class. I thought it was just that she was tired and she's much busier with school and play dates and class time falls at a weird time for us. Once we were there, she would head into the room and she wouldn't complain afterwards. But after watching her at dance class yesterday, she just does not have the joy she had last year. You can see it on her face how much she hates it. She wouldn't pay attention. She made fish faces in the mirror, was sitting or lying down when she was supposed to be dancing. And when she finally stood up, she just stood there, no actual dancing was being done.

Before class started. She was supposed to be getting into the circle to start their stretches but she just lied on the floor.

Then instead on paying attention, she stared at herself in the mirror. I can just imagine what she's thinking, "I'm a princess. I'm so pretty."

She did her princess walks. Last year she couldn't walk on tippy toes so she has improved in that area at least.

Now she should be standing in her spot preparing to show everyone her new dance moves. They are dancing to Mickey by Toni Basil.

Now she finally gets up but doesn't dance. She's just so over it. You see the other girls, hands behind their backs, ready to perform but not Annabelle.

We talked with her a little bit after dance class and she says she just doesn't like it anymore. And then after talking with Mark, I think we have figured out why. Her class this year is very big compared to last year and they are also completely out of control. The parents were letting their kids run all over the place. One parent gave their kid a sucker and sent her over to dance. Miss Deanne had to take it away, safety concerns, which only made the child scream uncontrollably for the rest of the class.

I don't blame any of this on Annabelle's dance teacher, I blame the other kids parents. They didn't try to discipline their kids and it seemed as if there is little discipline at home. Also they don't seem to know how to follow directions. You aren't supposed to bring other siblings or grandparents to watch the class. It is stated that only parents can come. But there is a whole group of sister's with children around the same age. They had all of their other kids there plus parents and in-laws in tow. It was chaos and unfortunately Miss Deanne didn't say anything about it. Annabelle does not do well in chaotic situations. She will shut down and that is what is happening right now.

So I think we are going to pull her instead of forcing her to keep dancing. I want her to love dancing and the interaction that you get from being in some sort of structured activity. I think that making her finish out the year will be a bad idea. While I don't want her to think it's OK to quit things if they get tough, I also don't want her to be miserable. After class she took my hand, pulled me down to her level and asked me to not take her back there. I think I'm going to listen to her on this one. I think it may be the right thing to do.

Monday, January 24, 2011


You know when you have this wonderful idea, something really great to write about, but no matter what you start, it sounds like garbage. I'm having one of those days. I had such a fun weekend with my friends. I was going to tell you about the fantastic dinner we all had together and the water boy who thought our money jar was an urn full of ashes, plus how the people near us got annoyed when we wanted our picture taken. Then we out to a club in a crazy snowstorm and had some drinks and danced. They played some awesome music, old school stuff from the 80's and 90's plus all the newer stuff. The skeevy guy that wouldn't get a clue, he touched my cousin on the face while she was dancing! GROSS! Then the let down of the night when I get home at 2am to find my daughter hacking on the couch with a fever. The doctor's appointment the next morning confirming that, once again, that she has an ear and throat infection with underlying croup. I wanted to show the ups and downs of my lovely weekend. That I had so much fun being with my girls, the ones I know I can always count on. And that is was kinda ruined by the sick kid. But the sick kid isn't being awful and getting to snuggle her up underneath my robe, sharing our body heat while she snoozes is the best part of being a mom. But nothing is coming out. There is no flow. I sound stupid and trite. I don't even know why I'm trying, seriously. I'm going to get over it now.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Duff

A friend of mine from high school told me about a book that she had recently read called The Duff. She was going on and on about it, about how well it was written and how it made her think of herself both now and back in high school. She always gives me lots of ideas for new material to read. We both like to read very different things, I don't stay in the same genre, and she's like that too. I was/am in a reading mood right now so I got the book and read it too. It is a wonderful book. It's meant to be for teenagers but it still resonated with me, 15 years out of high school. It's basically about 3 girls, best friends and one is the Duff. The Designated Ugly Fat Friend.

It got me thinking about how I felt about myself. I've never been a skinny girl, not fat either just a regular sized person. But many of my friends were smaller than me and still are. Was I just around to make them look better? The book is very good and it's supposed to have the opposite effect of what is happening to me, I think. It points out that every girl, no matter their size, thinks that they are the DUFF. But when you really were/are, it just brings your/my insecurities to the forefront.

I can remember boys falling over themselves to be around some of my friends in high school. There are girls that I'm friends with now that I know will always get the attention because they are skinny or have boobs or whatever that thing is that boys can't get enough of. I don't have that thing, whatever it is. I've always been the "cute" girl. The one the boys talked to about their girlfriends, even though I pined to be their #1 girl. I hear occasionally from guy friends from high school, "I always thought you were cute in high school but you were just you, you know?" Yes, I know, cute but not cute enough or sexy enough or intriguing enough to actually ask out. (I know I sound bitter and maybe I am. I'm not asking for a million ex's but maybe a few more than what I have would be nice.)

I get to go out this weekend with my GNI girls, except January is GNO. We plan on going out together (some of us) after dinner. We just don't want to night to end, you know? But will that feeling of not being good enough linger in the back of my mind? Will I be the duff? God I hope not. There are so many days when I wish I could turn my brain off and stop thinking, over analyzing. Today is another one of those days.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I know people that can get obsessed with things but I am not that person. Let me rephrase, I could be that person but I don't let myself. I can get so OCD over stupid little things that I have to force myself to go the other direction. I just can't keep up that non-stop thinking.

When I start loving something, I can only take so much of it. I just go the new Bruno Mars CD two weeks ago. I have been listening to it constantly since I go it. I love it! The songs are so good, so real. About love and hate and confusion and a little bit of narcissism. It's not too long, only 10 songs, so I get the chance to actually hear all the songs often. But I can feel it waning already. Soon that CD will be put on the shelf and more than likely never listened to again. Three years down the road I may pick it up again, remembering how I loved it and about two songs in I'll turn it off, already tired.

I do this with just about everything- music, movies, TV shows, even vacations. When we first book it's all I think about. What are we going to do, where will we eat, planning out picture ideas and tours and just everything. We booked our trip to Nawlins two weeks ago but now, not really thinking about it. I just can't, I'd go insane!

Two and a half years ago I went to 5 concerts for one band. The first two were so awesome, 12 days apart from each other but then the luster started to fade. Don't get me wrong I had fun, hanging out with my friends but the best part of those last three concerts weren't he shows themselves. My best memories were the other stuff that went along with them; my friends, the trips to get there, the jello shots in the parking lot, all the stuff surrounding the actual concerts. We are going to see them again in June and while I'm happy to go, it just doesn't make me giddy like it did before.

Is this weird? Am I the only one that does this? I just don't know.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I hope that one day, this will be true. More than 40 years after these words were uttered, I still hear of people being discriminated against. For the color of their skin, their gender, their sexual orientation. People hurting each other for no real reason except that they are scared at what is perceived as different. Something that they don't know or understand.

When we went to Washington D.C. in 2008, I stood on the spot where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his speech. It gave me little chills, to know that in that very spot, a good man tried to change the world. I took Annabelle to that spot, hoping that she would soak in how I felt to be there. It may have been a silly thing, to have my almost two year old, absorb the power that I felt coming through the steps of the Lincoln Memorial but I did it anyways. I tried to explain how important it was to be there and to be strong and brave and good. I know she doesn't remember it, but I do. That it was important for me to let her know how lucky she is to live here but that there is still so much work to do.

This is the spot at the Lincoln Memorial where MLK did his speech.

Annabelle has learned all about Martin Luther King Jr. during the past week. Well, as much as a four year old can understand. They talked about his dream and about what they could dream of to make the world a better place. They wrote their dreams onto clouds and hung them from the ceiling in her classroom. Annabelle's cloud said, "I have a dream... that we share." That says a lot right there. One little thing that people can do to make their little piece of the world a better place. And even though I realize she is talking about toys or crayons, I hope that I little piece of her subconscious remembers that moment on the steps. That I have helped her learn a small piece of history through osmosis.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Want It!

This is going to probably sound stupid and whiny but whatever. You know when you get something stuck in your mind? And that thing just festers in there, making you think about it all the time. Sometimes it's something bad for you- that decadent dessert or maybe a person that's not so good for you or cigarettes or alcohol. There are all kinds of things that can do that for you. My thing is not any of those and it's pretty stupid compared to some of them but... I want a new couch. Stupid, I know but I've been thinking about it for months and months.

Our couch is 9 years old. It's an OK couch but the frame is (or was) broken and the cushions have seen better days. So one of the local furniture stores is going out of business and what better time to peruse their items for sale? I had convinced Mark that it was a good idea. We had a party over the weekend and one of our friends mentioned how uncomfortable it was to sit on the couch. Even more reason to get a new one right?

So a few nights ago Mark, being Mr. Handyman, decides to rip open the back of the couch and check out the damage. Then he has the nerve to go and fix it! Now the back isn't saggy, the bottom cushions fit properly and it's pretty darn comfy again. Damn him! My mind and my heart was all set with buying something new. He says we can still go check out some new furniture but can I really see us buying something that we technically don't need anymore? Because I can tell you that if we get a new couch, I'll want to paint the room but that room has pink carpets. So then we'll have to rip up the rugs and decide on new flooring. And the deal we will have gotten on the couch will be null and void because it will cost waaaaaay more money to start major house renovations.

So I'm feeling cranky and whiny because I WANT IT! If I were a 2 year old I would throw myself down on the floor and have a good old fashioned temper tantrum but I'm 32 and that would be silly. So instead I'll complain to myself and anyone else who will listen to me about my stupid, handy husband. (He's not stupid, I love him, but he has done himself a great dis-service by fixing the couch. You would think that after 15 years together he would understand that.) So what should I do? Get a new couch or save up that money for something else? Grrr! There are just too many decisions that have to be made once you grow up!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Gym

I've been going to a gym for a little over a month now. I don't feel so new like I once did. I'm learning the protocols that are involved and figuring out many of the machines. But there are two types of people at the gym that drive me practically insane right now.

First, it's the Barbie girls. Hair done, make up on, GIANT fake boobs, and they take up entire areas for themselves. I don't make myself up for the gym only to get sweaty and have to take a shower and redo to whole thing. It seems like a waste of time to me and I'm not out looking for a new man. Most of the time they seem to hover in and around the treadmills but yesterday they took up any and all floor space. There isn't a lot of spots to get down and stretch, do any kind of ab work, your lunges, squats etc. My gym is rather compact, so you have to make do when it's crowded but taking up a whole section while you do your own version of step aerobics is rude.

Second, is the muscle heads. I get it. You're strong. You have to turn sideways to get through the door. Yay you! You look like you're on steroids! I may be a rather small girl who doesn't lift giant, heavy weights like you do, but I have the right to use the machines/weights too. Stop watching me struggle with my 20 pound bar bell. I mean they just stare like I should be getting ready to entertain them. Shall I break out into song? Do a tap dance? I don't stare at them even though they look ridiculous with their weight belts and protein shakes and square heads.

Do these people frequent all gyms or are they there to annoy me?

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Girl

Just a quick picture to show you what our days usually entail. Dress-up! This is Annabelle's idea of how a princess dresses. Flower head band, Sleeping Beauty dress-up top, and three tutu's. Check, check, and check. Now we are complete.
P.S. Do NOT look at the mess that is the computer/craft room. It is a work in progress, which I hope to really tackle next week. Christmas decorations need to come down this week first.

*** She just walked into the room wearing a whole different outfit. Witch's hat, spider wand, two different tutu's, a pair of Tinker Bell wings, but still wearing the Sleeping Beauty shirt. She's such a fashionista. :) ***

Friday, January 7, 2011


I remember, back when I was a teenager and in my early 20's when I never had a free weekend. There were sleep overs and movie dates and once I was older club hopping with Mark and my friends (oh how I miss The Pier). Plus weddings and showers and if we weren't going out, we were hanging at someones house, having little dinner parties and playing board games. There was just always so much to do.

Then right around the time we got married, it started to tail off. My friends were starting to have babies or thinking about it. Most of the people I knew were married and weekend plans fell off. Mark and I had lots of time to be together, working on the house, cooking complicated little meals together.

And then came Annabelle. Life got busy again. Between our monthly GNI get togethers, children's birthday parties (baby #14 is on his way soon in my friend group, not to mention family birthday's), and grandparents needing to see us i.e. Annabelle every 2 weeks or so or they go into withdrawal. Well the weekends are once again very busy for us.

This weekend I have 3 parties attend. GNI Christmas at our house, which means cleaning and scrubbing and hiding all toys with tiny parts away on Saturday. And on Sunday I have a baby shower and my dad's 55th birthday party at my parent's house. I feel like I haven't had a free day on the weekend, let alone a whole weekend, without something to do in months!

Now next week we actually have nothing planned and I'd like to think that I'll sit back and relax but I'm sure try to come up with something to do. A movie with Annabelle, a trip to the science museum or Aquarium or maybe the zoo if it's not too frigid. Just something to fill the time up. And then the next 3 weekends once again are filled up with GNO (so excited to go out) and a swimming birthday party and Disney on Ice and Super Bowl parties that my head will be spinning again and I'll be wishing for a free day!

But in the end, I do love that we have so much to do. It means that there are people out there that want to be with us. And that makes it all worth while when I look back on all of the memories we make every busy weekend. So do you ever have any free time on the weekends or does it fill up faster than you can blink?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I know that you're supposed to make these on January 1 and it's already the 5th but cut a girl some slack! I think that most people don't end up keeping those resolutions anyway. If you want to do something, you should just do it. Not that it works for me, I like to start things on Mondays, but don't let it stop anyone else from jumping on that horse. But this year I want to work on myself, make me better. I often worry if what I'm doing is somehow impacting other people. Then I end up talking myself out onto a ledge where I have no maneuverability. So this year is going to be all about me.
  1. Exercise more. Yes I have poundage to lose. Not a lot but my real motivation is not how I look in a bikini but how I feel. I want to be healthier and teach Annabelle that size doesn't matter.
  2. Floss regularly. Again, it's healthy. I go on binges where I floss every day but then I miss a day and weeks will go by without any thought on the subject. I know it's gross but I have pretty nice teeth, my hygienist told me so and since she's one of my GNI girls, she's not allowed to lie:)
  3. Organize. I think I would feel more grounded if I knew where things were all the time and where they were supposed to go. A designated spot. I have somethings that are like that but often, if there's going to be people coming over, I just "hide" things and then can't find them. I'm a great hider.
  4. Try to be more confident. I'm always standing off to the side. I'm convinced that no one remembers me, so I never say hi to the old friend from high school that I see in Target or at a restaurant. How embarrassing would it be to have to explain who you are to another person? Ugh!
  5. And lastly, be myself more. Be proud of what I am. I'm always putting my self down. I lost 15 pounds BUT I still have more to go. I'm JUST a stay at home mom. Things like that. Always qualifying instead of knowing how lucky I am to be at this place in my life.

I look at the list and think there should be more but in my heart of hearts, I know that this is a lot. Becoming a better you is hard to do. It means looking at yourself honestly, pointing out your flaws, and then actually trying to fix them instead of getting down on yourself.

So do you have any resolutions this year? Did you make any last year and keep up? I'm always curious about people's motivations. Plus if others can keep up, then maybe I can too.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


There are people in this world that are just supposed to love and support you no matter what. I strongly believe that. Those people are your parents, siblings, spouses, and kids. It doesn't matter is you actually agree with the things that they do or say. If they sometimes embarrass you or make really wrong decisions, you still stand in their corner. So when one of those people doesn't do that, it hurts.

My sister has hurt me beyond words. She has cut me so deep that I don't want her near me right now. I don't even know what the hell happened to get us to this place. It started as a play date last week. We were going to go to the movies with the kids and my mom. And now we are hating each other. She said hateful things to me on FB. Right there for everyone else to read. Accused me of being a false sister, a fake, being embarrassed by her, and shady. All of that crushed my soul just a little bit.

I'm not perfect, far from it. I do put up that thin veneer, a smile on my face- even when it's uncomfortable, to make people happy. I hate rocking the boat. I hate fighting and crying and screaming and being all emotional. Because I am, emotional. I tend to cry over stupid little things; commercials and TV shows, perceived wrongs, imagining myself in a scary, sad, horrible situations, headaches. Plus all of the good stuff too; knowing how lucky I am to have the family I have, my husband and daughter, my friends, a support group who hopefully doesn't judge me too harshly. So yes, if I'm upset or hurt, I smile. Because crying and yelling only hurts other people too. Plus it rarely makes me feel any better. There is no reason to tell someone that they are embarrassing you or themselves or doing something wrong only to cause a fight. They usually already know what they are doing.

So my sister has dumped all of her insecurities on me. Making them all my fault without explaining what happened. And then blaming me for not knowing what is happening. Do you see any logic in that? Do you see that feels like it's being done with malicious intent? She doesn't though. I wrote her a private message on FB. I explained why I was hurt and confused. I asked her to explain what she was feeling. The response I got was that she wasn't reading my letter, that I was jealous of the help she gets from our parents and that she was done with me. She complains that I don't tell anyone how I feel and than when I do I get shit on again. I can't do anything right for her and I never could. I seriously don't know what she wants from me.

I won't lie. I got really mad after she replied to my message. I said things that were obviously known but NEVER uttered out loud to her. I regret that part. I regret hanging up on her when my mom tried to patch things up between us. I know this hurts my mom and dad. But she just started with me. Screaming at me through the phone about my lack of knowledge in her situation and that I'm fake and awful and mean. I hung up. I screamed back for her to leave me alone. That I didn't want to talk to her and hung up. I hate being lowered to that place where I'm feeling out of control.

I feel like I've done the right thing. Mark has seen all the messages and told me I'm not being too mean or spiteful. That this had been coming for a long time... but how do you go from loving someone to hating them in the matter of a few days? How do you make your heart start beating it's normal rhythm again when there is an aching piece throwing you off course?